Cargill reinforces its commitment to food security
Pledges support to ending hunger across Asia on World Food Day
Singapore, 15 October 2014 - Commemorating World Food Day, Cargill is calling for coordinated action by governments, the private sector and civil society to ensure the continued improvement of food security across the globe.
The economic growth in China, India and Indonesia has pulled millions out of poverty over the past decade. However, according to the United Nations, the majority of people who are food insecure still live in Asia.
Cargill is doing all it can to support efforts towards a more food secure world from working closely with the small holder farmers to investing into R&D in agriculture and the food sector. As such, the company calls for governments to work together to allow food to move freely between countries and create the domestic policy environment that gives producers of all sizes, the ability and incentives to thrive. Through seamless integration of farms to forks, people will have better access to affordable, nutritious and safe food. The company believes that only governments can legislate, regulate and establish the trade rules to move food from where it is grown to where it is needed. In addition, the market must be allowed to work and to provide clear price signals to farmers to incentivize the right amount and type of production.
“To reduce hunger in Asia, we look forward to additional positive changes adopted by all stakeholders. We also hope for more policies that eliminate the factors that contribute to people going hungry because they don’t have access or can’t afford the food they need,” said Alan Willits, corporate vice president, Cargill Agriculture Supply Chain.
“There is ample scope to increase food production and food trade. Today only about 16% of the food produced globally crosses international borders. Creating a more food-secure world requires an open, fair and non-distorting trade system to allow more food to be transported from areas of surplus to areas of deficit. This would also help reduce price volatility by providing more supply when there are local shortages caused by factors like weather and natural disasters that can result in price spikes,” stated Mr. Willits.
Trade agreements can help instill confidence and enable countries to resist the temptation to pursue costly self-sufficiency, restrict exports or overbuying when supplies are tight. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and six other economies together established the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership in 2012, setting the stage for a free trade agreement in Asia. Research by the Asian Development Bank Institute shows that if the agreement includes agriculture and trade with non-member states, developing Asian countries would benefit by as much as US$52 billion per year in economic welfare.
Part of freer trade in agriculture will need to also include reductions in non-tariff barriers. In particular, policy makers need to urgently address the bewildering array of food standards that currently impede food trade, and focus on harmonizing rules around internationally accepted scientific standards.
Cargill locations across the region are doing their part to fight food insecurity by conducting various employee led activities, such as collecting and distributing food items for food banks, training for farmers to increase yields, providing livestock farmers with the tools to be more successful and helping rural farm communities thrive with new schools.
Cargill provides food, agriculture, financial and industrial products and services to the world. Together with farmers, customers, governments and communities, we help people thrive by applying our insights and nearly 150 years of experience. We have 145,000 employees in 67 countries who are committed to feeding the world in a responsible way, reducing environmental impact and improving the communities where we live and work. For more information, visit Cargill.com and our News Center.