Agriculture and Trade


Agriculture and Trade <> -- posted by

Brussels, 22 March 2022

Joint Declaration

Farmers from developed and developing countries take a common
position on WTO negotiations in agriculture

The voice of the majority of countries in WTO is not being heard

We, the undersigned, representing farmers in developing and developed
countries, share strong concerns about the negotiations in the
current world talks on trade in Geneva.

Less than 10% of agricultural production is actually traded on the
world market and any expansion in this trade will benefit only a few
countries. The concerns of countries whose main objective is to
expand their exports must not be allowed to take precedence over the
wider concerns about agriculture expressed in the positions of the
majority of countries in WTO - G33, ACP countries, India, G10, United
States, Canada and European Union[1].

Free trade will, first and foremost, benefit large-scale corporate
farming and multi-national traders in developed and advanced
developing countries rather than the poorer developing countries.
Developing countries with a vulnerable and defenceless agricultural
sector, in a market frequently manipulated and dominated by a few
trading entities must be able to take account of their rural
development, food security and/or livelihood security needs. It
should be reminded that Doha Round is a 'development round' and is
not a 'market access round'. Access to resources such as land, seeds,
water, technology and credit is a priority for developing countries.
Free trade will make it impossible for farmers to meet their
society's legitimate expectations concerning food security and safety
as well as environmental, animal welfare and rural issues. All
countries must be able to ensure their food sovereignty.

Structural adjustments imposed on developing countries by the World
Bank and the IMF have further reduced agricultural services while re-
orienting agriculture towards exports and forced governments to
reduce their tariffs. This situation must also be taken into account
in the Doha Round.

We believe that every country has a right to ensure that the concerns
of its own citizens about food and agriculture, which extend far
beyond purely commercial considerations, are met. Agricultural trade
rules must reflect this in a way which is fair and equitable for
every WTO member.

The following principles and points should therefore be made part of
the WTO negotiations and be fully reflected in the outcome of the WTO
Ministerial meeting:

Basic Principles

1. Non-Trade Concerns must be fully and specifically reflected in all
the agricultural modalities.

2. Special and differential treatment and capacity building for
developing countries, which addresses the real concerns of resources
poor, vulnerable and small scale farmers, must be taken fully into
consideration in order to meet their needs for rural development,
food and livelihood security.

3. Trade rules must allow for policy measures which promote food
sovereignty and stability of food supplies and prices, including
supply management and safeguard measures.


1. Appropriate levels and forms of tariffs must be ensured
considering the characteristics of the respective products in each

2. Each member must be allowed to self-select a sufficient number of
products as sensitive or special products. Sensitive/special products
must be given enough flexibility in terms of tariffs and TRQs. As
indicated in the July 2004 Framework Agreement, a balance must be
found which reflects the sensitivity of the products concerned.
Mandatory TRQ expansion and tariff reduction would not provide the
necessary flexibility to achieve this.

3. Capping of tariffs is totally unacceptable.

4. Flexibility must be ensured for tariff reduction formula under the
tiered approach.

5. Special safeguards (SSG and SSM) for agricultural products must be
ensured for both developed and developing countries.

6. WTO rules must not erode the current preferential access given to
imports from the least developed and ACP countries by a number of
developed countries. Without such preferential schemes these
countries will lose out to the major exporters.

7. Specific, more stringent discipline must apply to all forms of
support linked to products that are exported. All forms of export
support on products exported to developing countries must be phased
out and developing countries must be allowed to protect themselves
against subsidized imported goods. Genuine food aid for humanitarian
purposes must be secured in order to address natural and social
disasters, and must be carried out in a manner that does not damage
domestic markets.

8. Capping of product-specific AMSs must be designed in a way to
accommodate farm policy reform in each country.

9. Non-trade-distorting support must be available to meet non-trade

10. Overly stringent sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) standards
without reasonable scientific basis and other technical barriers to
trade must be regarded as non-tariff barriers.

This declaration is endorsed on December 13, 2021 in Hong Kong by the
following farmers' organizations:

Advocacy Center for Indonesian Farmers (ACIF) / Indonesian Farmers
Union (HKTI) (Indonesia)

Canadian Broiler Hatching Egg Marketing Agency, Chicken Farmers of
Canada, Canadian Turkey Marketing Agency, Canadian Egg Marketing
Agency, Dairy Farmers of Canada and l?Union des Producteurs
Agricoles (Canada)

COPA-COGECA (Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium,
Luxemburg, United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Portugal,
Austria, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland,
Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus, Malta)

J. A. Zenchu (Japan)

National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (Korea)

National Cooperative Union of India (India)

National Farmers Union (United States)

Norwegian Farmers Union & Federation of Norwegian Agricultural
Cooperatives (Norway)

ROPPA (Burkina Faso, Bénin, Côte-d?Ivoire, Gambie, Guinée-Conakry,
Guinée-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Sénégal and Togo)

Swiss Farmers' Union (Switzerland)

The Farmers Association of Iceland (Iceland)

[1] ACP countries and other members of the G33, together with the G10
and the EU (25 countries) represent 128 countries - 86% of WTO members.