International Trade and Food Security

International Trade and Food Security

Exploring Collective Food Security in Asia

NUS Centre for International Law series

Edited by Michael Ewing-Chow and Melanie Vilarasau Slade

Food security is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Through a collection of commissioned studies, which draw upon the experience of leading experts and scholars in trade, investment, law, economics, and food policy, this book assesses whether self-sufficiency is an adequate response to the food security challenges we face

Chapter 7: A private sector view of food security and pricing volatility

James McVitty

Subjects: law - academic, asian law, international economic law, trade law, public international law


Everyone must eat. A healthy active life has its foundation in a nutritionally balanced diet. Food is the fuel for life, an absolute non-negotiable, and as such food security is at the absolute apex of human concerns. Ensuring that basic food security needs are met, both now and in the future, is one of the world’s most pressing issues. Food security is a major, global challenge for the twenty-first century. The food security challenge is to provide improved nutrition to a global population with less impact on natural resources. Food security is not a single issue, but instead requires addressing a variety of factors. Food security is too large of a mandate for one global organization such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to address alone. Other organizations such as the WTO, WHO and APEC all have a critical role to play and without overarching political oversight and commitment, policy responses are likely to remain uncoordinated and piecemeal. Food is generally not very high on the global political agenda and often only emerges at times of crisis. This should not be the case; food policies need to be elevated to become part of the global sustainability debate.

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