Efficient agricultural and farm policies encourage open markets, allowing farmers to make decisions based on supply and demand, and permitting food to be traded freely across borders to reach those who need it. Policies that raise barriers to trade and distort markets only serve to constrict the flow of food and subject farmers and consumers to risk. Policies that advance sustainability and food security while protecting farmers’ livelihoods also are essential for addressing challenges posed by a growing world population and finite natural resources.
Cargill believes farmers are best served when governments and regulators focus on creating policies that free farmers to grow the crops they grow best, so that food can be provided in the most efficient manner to those who need it. Agricultural policies that increase or reduce production to serve short-term needs only disrupt markets—causing farmers to produce too much or too little, and ultimately reducing long-term profitability for farmers and agricultural businesses.
We support government programs that help farmers manage short-term risk during market volatility due to weather, economic instability or other crises. Restrictive systems of farmer support—such as price floors and ceilings, quotas, and mandates that ignore market signals and distort trade and production—hurt farmers, their communities, and the businesses that depend on them.
Cargill encourages the public and private sectors to work together to provide incentives for farmers to adopt conservation measures that help them manage risk, and bolster their long-term economic health and sustainability. We support voluntary working land conservation programs, and programs that advance conservation practices that improve water quality and soil health. We also support land tenure rights for farmers of all size, in order to encourage them to good stewards. And we believe land-idling programs should be avoided.
It is important for government policies to encourage agricultural research and development, and establish a regulatory framework for the introduction of innovations that enable more sustainable and productive agriculture.