The reform of agricultural trade rules is at the center of negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding a multilateral framework for the global economy. However, the reforms envisaged do not bode well for the future of agriculture across the globe. They will deepen the desperation of farmers across the world and undermine local and global ecosystems. In contrast, this report explores new directions for trade rules beyond the free trade paradigm. Placing the challenges posed to agriculture and rural communities at the center of attention, it proposes political perspectives and policy instruments for a trading system that offers genuine opportunities for the poor, preserves the environment, and helps agriculture leap into the post-fossil age.
This report is the result of the EcoFair Trade Dialogue, a two-years extensive consultation and exchange process that took place across all continents. The proposals have been discussed and improved upon by a great number of representatives from farmer organizations and grass-roots initiatives, politics, the academic world, and civil society organizations. As it is high time to achieve a paradigm shift and start trade negotiations towards a General Agreement on Sustainable Trade, this report understands itself as a contribution to this aim.