Global Policy Options

Lead Organization:

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP)




For decades the US government has pursued agriculture-related policies in trade, technology transfer, and investment that ignore the social and environmental harms its policies cause at home and abroad: structural racism in program design and implementation, externalization of environmental costs caused by undiversified production systems, neglect of farm and food worker rights, and failure to discipline anti-competitive behavior in increasingly concentrated food commodity processing and retail markets. 

Support for agroecology (AE) and regenerative farming in the US is growing, finding commonalities with and inspiration from movements around the world. IATP has accompanied the multilateral processes that negotiated and now oversee the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements, such as UNFCCC and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS). It undertakes joint research and advocacy work with CSO coalitions and social movements worldwide, engaging in intergovernmental diplomacy. IATP makes sense of national and regional food and climate policies that have global reach (e.g. US Farm Bill or the Common Agricultural Policy), and explains how global rules such as WTO and other trade agreements impact national policy space, especially in the Global South. 

IATP played a central role in writing the synthesis of academic research report for the UN High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) to the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) and in subsequent intergovernmental negotiations that led to the adoption of the 13 agroecology principles. IATP consolidated its learnings, creating an online resource with definitions, Q&A, and short pieces spotlighting different aspects of AE contributed by friends and allies around the globe. 

IATP has studied the role of domestic support and public subsidies for agriculture in the US and Global South. It is critical of the share of existing support behind unsustainable production practices, and it fought for innovative programs that set new standards for best practice. At the global level, it has published peer-reviewed research on how US commodities are dumped on world markets, costing food security in the Global South and resilient agriculture in the US.

Grant Aims:

The overall goal is to explore options for CRFS members to engage in international policy in support of agroecological transformations, including possible links to the wider global community of AE policymakers and practitioners.

Specifically, the project aims to:

  • Explore with the CRFS CoP the creation of a small joint reference group, possibly choosing one or more regions with which to dive into joint learning and common advocacy agenda-building, linking local policy and learning experiences with the global context and decision-makers.

Outputs and Outcomes:


  • Two-year workplan to advance strategy for global policy and engagement that supports CRFS program practice and values
  • IATP relationships tapped in many CRFS countries and regions with CSOs for additional perspectives 
  • Active work continued with Kenyan partners in relation to negotiations of US-Kenya free trade agreement
  • In South America, connections made with partners around EU and US initiatives on deforestation
  • Developing countries—and their local communities—having a say in policies that will dictate their livelihoods
  • More space left for local and domestic engagement in new trade policies for sustainability 
  • Active tracking one of next important initiatives to define how world will feed itself in decades ahead: 1.5 C Roadmap for agrifood systems under FAO leadership; push, with group of concerned civil society actors and researchers, for greater transparency and inclusion in development of report’s metrics and final recommendations