Volume 4, 2009
A Survey of International Corporate Responsibility
The Relationship Between Food Security and Trade Liberalization
Assessing the World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Agriculture and the Role of Transnational Corporations
This paper addresses the issue of food security in developing countries and how agriculture plays an important role in achieving not only food security, but also in reducing poverty and promoting sustainable development. The promotion of trade liberalization by the World Trade Organization (WTO) through the Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) has undermined the productive capacity of developing countries and their comparative advantage in the agricultural sector, marginalizing small-scale farmers and benefitting the big corporations. The paper looks at the issue of intellectual property rights that big corporations have for seeds and their effects on small-scale farmers, and how corporate social responsibility (CSR) is insufficient to regulate the dominance of big corporations in the food and agricultural market. The paper is divided into seven sections: trade liberalization and food security, the WTO and the AoA, the effects of the AoA on developing countries, the role of transnational corporations (TNCs) on food security, CSR and TNCs, policy recommendations, and conclusions.