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

Denis Richard and Philippe Mangin,
sharing two perspectives to support agriculture

November 12, 2012


In an environment of increasing agricultural market financialization and excessive speculation, fighting extremely volatile agricultural prices and preventing food crises have been a core concern to the international community in the past few years.

On both sides of the Atlantic, growing calls are being heard to denounce agricultural market speculation, such as the recent statements made by Denis Richard, President of Canada’s Quebec Coop Fédérée, and by Philippe Mangin, President of In Vivo-Coop de France, as well as by other agricultural and political officials.

Speaking at the Montreal Canadian Club on October 15, Denis Richard clearly pointed the finger at the threats linked to the “wild speculation” that affects agricultural markets. Along with other professionals in the industry, he feels that the very future of global agricultural operations is at stake. “There are episodes when the producer’s price of a ton of grain is sixty times higher than the final price, because of the price speculation between the two prices,” states Denis Richard, before outlining the fact that “if a pig farmer does not grow its own grain, he just cannot make it with such rising market prices.”

The growing financialization of commodity markets is also assisted by a deregulation context that mechanically led to lower stocks in the name of the uncritical application to agriculture of neoliberal principles––namely that of “zero stock”––that the manufacturing industry holds dear. During a press conference this past September, Philippe Mangin condemned such policy, while also recalling that excessively high food prices, which put pressure on livestock farming, are also caused by “the deregulation of agricultural policies” attracting speculators who feed the volatility,” thus generating a vicious circle that implies risks for all activities.

As a consequence, if futures markets can play a part in the smooth functioning of agricultural markets, namely providing liquid assets and handling some local exogenous risks, they are failing to deal with systemic risks that cause sudden market reversals. Regulatory measures should therefore be adopted to monitor market speculation and curb volatility, so that they do not generate additional instability. Such measures should be implemented in the framework of a global and coordinated approach at the international level to ensure their effectiveness.

Among such measures, one can mention, as suggested by Denis Richard, supply management, which is a required tool “to ensure food security and provide income predictability for farmers to cope with price volatility.” Philippe Mangin, for his part, advocates a return to a reserve policy “with global leadership” for stocks, and regrets that “the G20 proposals on the issue are still given lip service,” for the time being.

momagri welcomes these viewpoints by two leaders of cooperative companies, which are, by the way, partners of momagri.
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Paris, 18 December 2018