A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Volatility of agricultural commodity prices:
The Government’s new paramount priority

November 3, 2014

Are distributors, processors and farmers finally united following the price war that has been disrupting the agro-food sector since 2008? At any rate, this is what the Government is aspiring to by issuing a decree to implement the return of large-scale distributors and agro-food producers to the negotiating table, in case of sharp price swings. The measures are applicable to sales of milk and dairy products, fishery products, meats, eggs and pasta.

As indicated in the press release attached to the decree, “The prices of some agricultural and agro-food commodities have experienced sharp volatility for several years. Trade partners in the food supply chain seldom anticipated these sometimes very sharp price fluctuations. In the absence of supervised renegotiation mechanisms, the situation was harmful to both agricultural producers and agro-food suppliers.”

Beyond the scope of the compromise based on a new French agro-food model and the hope of future solidarity in the sector, the decree finally takes account of the specific nature of this strategic sector. Agricultural markets have indeed become complex anticipation markets where price volatility has now turned out to be the norm, and where players’ psychology is playing a significant role. Consequently, the structural hyper-volatility of prices in international agricultural markets is a major issue that is far from being limited to farmers only. It affects the whole economic chain, from producers to consumers as well as processors and distributors.

As a consequence, if agriculture and agro-food represent an anti-crisis weapon and a first-rate power driver, protecting farmers and consumers from exogenous and endogenous risks impacting the sector should become an over-riding issue.

But while this new mechanism is an adequate response to the urgency of the crisis, it does not solve the basic problem––the volatility of agricultural commodities. Thus, it might be a wise move to implement genuine regulatory and stabilization policies––especially at the European level––that would not only benefit all involved but also strengthen a crucial component of our economy.

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Paris, 16 December 2018