13 Oct 2015

WTI and Bocconi University stage food security conference

Food Security is the main theme of the World Expo 2015 taking place in Milan until the end of this month. WTI and Milan's Bocconi University picked up the theme at a second joint event they staged in the city on 7 October.

Hosted by the Istituto Culturale Svizzero, the conference addressed the question “Transatlantic Trade: More or Less Food Security?” It followed a joint seminar on “Sustainable Food: Legal and Economic Challenges” at Bocconi University on 14 May this year.

At the recent conference, Claudio Dordi (Bocconi) and Christian Häberli (WTI) discussed the possible food safety and food security impacts of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement. TTIP negotiations between the USA and the EU are in their third year, and number of draft texts and impact estimates show both the high trade liberalisation ambitions of the Parties and the remaining difficulties, especially in non-tariff issues and regulatory coherence.

In the wake of the first “megaregional” just concluded between 11 Pacific States (TPP), the chances for a successful conclusion of the even more ambitious TTIP have considerably risen. Even so, Dordi argued that widespread stakeholder concerns on regulatory sovereignty losses and negotiation transparency make a TTIP outcome forecast more than hypothetical.

Christian Häberli expressed the view that even a "shallow" TTIP could increase food security while lessening farm security. It could also result in more “scientifically robust” food safety – albeit requiring much homework, and a difficult identification of societal choices versus entrepreneurial farming on the one hand, and of public goods and market production on the other hand.