Food insecurity. On April 13, the World Trade Organization (WTO) issued the report “Rising Global Food Insecurity: Assessing Policy Responses“, prepared jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Bank Group. The document urges G-20 member countries (including Argentina, Brazil and Mexico) to coordinate efforts to address the causes of food insecurity and to form “a single position” to facilitate collective action on the issue. The report also recommends focusing on improving the provision of development financing to support investment in agriculture and promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth in rural areas.
The report explains that the increase in global food prices resulted primarily from food export restrictions in the initial period of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as from the war between Russia and Ukraine, both of which are major producers of food and fertilizer. Thus, the document points out that these events hit the incomes of vulnerable populations, with emphasis on those located in developing or least developed countries.
To address this situation, the report establishes recommendations for public policies to be implemented by its member countries. These include coordinating integrated social safety net programs that include food-related policies, increasing the diversity of actors involved in food sources and supply chains, facilitating access to fertilizers for farmers in vulnerable areas, financing food imports to mitigate impacts on food systems, and making concrete decisions regarding the functioning of global food markets.
This report, which was prepared at the request of the G-20 leaders in their Bali Declaration issued in November 2022 on measures to eradicate hunger, will be the starting point for a coordinated G-20 response to combat food insecurity at the group’s next meeting to be held September 9-10 in New Delhi, India.
Engagement opportunities for McDonald’s
Given McDonald’s role as a major food producer, the report’s recommendations for action include encouraging diversity of actors in supply chains, including companies. In this way, McDonald’s can be part of the stakeholders involved in the public policies that are developed in this area, whether in the regulatory field, influencing the drafting of standards that formalize the recommendations of public policies at both the Executive and Legislative level of the member countries, or in the implementation stage of the policies.