On June 23, AGree named ACDI/VOCA Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs Paul Guenette to its Advisory Committee. Guenette will join a diverse group of 29 experts who will help articulate a vision for a reformed food and agriculture system.
AGree was launched last month by eight of the world’s leading foundations to tackle long-term food and agriculture policy issues confronting the nation and the world. The Advisory Committee is charged with by mapping the existing policy landscape, identifying drivers of change, identifying issues that would benefit from research and analysis, and contributing to the development of policy recommendations.
Linking U.S. and International Food and Agriculture Policy
“The Advisory Committee will provide crucial links between international and domestic food and agriculture policy,” said Emmy Simmons, AGree co-chair and former Assistant Administrator at the U.S. Agency for International Development. “International and domestic policy experts will be at the same table on a consistent basis to discuss the policy implications that trade, research and international aid decisions have on each other. It is an unprecedented interaction that I welcome on several fronts and look forward to participating in.”
AGree has been stood up at a pivotal moment for food and agriculture policy. While food prices have gone down in recent weeks, the food crisis that flared in 2007-08 persists in much of the developing world, a result of higher demand for feedgrains in prospering areas, high oil prices, bad weather in critical growing zones, political disruption and other factors. In addition U.S. agricultural policy is hot debate in the run-up to a new farm bill and a presidential election next year.
Over the next four decades there will be an additional 2.6 billion people to feed—a 38 percent increase from today—in addition to the 925 million people who currently suffer undernutrition or hunger. In addition, the world faces a limited amount of easily accessible arable land, increasing pressures on freshwater quality and availability and accelerating environmental degradation.
A Platform for Cross-Sector Dialogue and Analysis
AGree hopes to fill a void in current agriculture research and discussions that often do not consider solutions across multiple sectors such as environment, energy, rural economies and health. The AGree initiative is designed to provide a platform for cross-sector dialogue and comprehensive analysis toward applying world-class research and application of best practices.
AGree is led by Dan Glickman, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Gary Hirshberg, chairman, president and “CE-Yo” of Stonyfield Farm; Jim Moseley, former deputy secretary at USDA and Indiana farmer for more than 40 years; and, Emmy Simmons, former assistant administrator for Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade at USAID and a board member for several organizations engaged in international agriculture and global development.
The initiative is funded by Ford Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation and The Walton Family Foundation.
The executive director of AGree is Deborah Atwood, who serves on the board of directors of ACDI/VOCA.
More information on AGree can be found on its website: www.foodandagpolicy.org.