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Friday, 20 May 2011

The Council discusses G20 ministerial meeting on Agriculture

The 3087th Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting  held in Brussels on 17 May 2011 was briefed by France about the organization of a meeting of the G20 ministers of agriculture on 22 and 23 June in Paris on the price volatility for agricultural commodities (9956/11). The objective of the meeting in June is to propose an action plan on the volatility of agricultural prices to be endorsed by the Heads of State Summit scheduled for 3 and 4 November 2011 in Cannes. France, which currently holds the presidency of the G20, identified the following themes for this meeting:

  • develop agricultural production in the long run in order to match the increasing demand and limit shortages;
  • improve market information and transparency in the interests of governments and economic operators with the creation of a joint database on stocks and production;
  • improve international coordination in order to enhance confidence in international markets and to prevent and manage food crisis more efficiently e.g. by setting up a specific a world forum able to respond quickly in case of a crisis;
  • develop risk management tools for the most vulnerable in order to cope with excessive food volatility; and,
  • better organise the agricultural markets.

The French initiative was strongly supported by member states, some of them insisting on the importance of setting up a specific mechanism to mitigate the speculation on agricultural products. In the coming weeks the Presidency will propose draft terms of reference for the EU's participation in the Paris meeting, which should be approved by Council at the beginning of June. For information, on 10 March 2011 the Council adopted conclusions on tackling the challenges on raw materials and in commodity markets (7029/11). In addition the Council has scheduled to adopt a further set of conclusions on financial challenges with regard to raw materials and commodity markets very relevant for ongoing G20 discussions.

Source: Council of Ministers