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Promoting an Open and Equitable Global Food System


Agricultural Price Volatility: Prospects, Challenges and Possible Solutions

May 26 - 27, 2010
Barcelona Spain

The agricultural sector has been deeply battered by both the food and financial crises and faces a looming climate change crisis.  Projections differ on whether commodity prices will continue their long-term decline of the last decades or experience a reversal of this trend, but experts agree that price volatility is likely to grow in the future.  Price volatility presents different sets of challenges to consumers and producers throughout the world and a grave risk to the food security of millions of people in developing countries.  This seminar brought together agriculture and trade experts from around the world to examine current and projected trends in prices, review past policy responses, discuss policy options available today, and arrive at pragmatic recommendations for addressing volatility in the future.

Josef Schmidhuber

(Maximo Torero and Joachim von Braun)

(Brian Wright)

(Alberto Valdés)

(Jesús Antón)

Opening Session

  • Ramon Torrent, University of Barcelona, Director of the Observatory of Globalization; Coordinator of the WTO-Regional Integration Chair Opening Remarks
  • Carlo Trojan, Former EU Ambassador to the WTO; IPC Chairperson. Seminar Objectives
  • Keynote:  Joaquim Llena, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Action, Generalitat of Catalonia


Session I - The Outlook for Food and Agricultural Prices and an Overview of Policy Options in Response to Price Volatility


Session II - Price Volatility - Considerations for Developing Countries

Session III - CAP Reform and Risk Management

Session IV - Futures Markets and Volatility

  • Joaquim von Braun, Director, Center for Development Research and Professor of Economics and Technical Change, University of Bonn; IPC Member. Futures Markets--Grain Price Volatility and Global Food Security
  • Carl Hausmann, Managing Director, Global Government and Coporate Affairs, Bunge; IPC Member. Price Volatility--Markets as the Messenger

Session V - Moving the Policy Agenda Forward

  • Carmel Cahill, Senior Counsellor, OECD Directorate for Trade and Agriculture.  What's Next for OECD Countries' Agricultural Policies?
  • Carlos Perez del Castillo, Former Permanent Representative of Uruguay to the WTO; IPC Member. Weighing Domestic and International Considerations
  • Carlo Trojan, Former EU Ambassador to the WTO; IPC Chairperson. Sorting Out International Institutional Questions

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