Titled “Enabling Trade: From Valuation to Action”, the report released by the World Economic Forum (WEF) emphasized the need for urgent implementation of the Bali trade accords and deeper reforms to "sustainably meet” world food demand. "Government leaders need to step out of traditional ministerial silos to lead value-chain reforms and reap the benefits in domestic investment and global trade," the report said.
Supply chain inefficiency contributes significantly to the 1.3 billion tonnes of food lost each year. "Attacking these barriers would help improve the livelihoods of billions of the world's poorest people, and cut emissions, energy and water use. Lost or wasted food costs over $750bn per year. Yet, agriculture and consumer policy remains focused on production and retail improvements, with insufficient action on supply chain and trade connections," it said.
Overly strict product standards, poor transportation infrastructure, border delays, and poor business climates are among the main supply chain barriers for agriculture, according to the research. Noting that major manufacturing investments could be unlocked by accelerating cross-border connectivity, it said that roughly $6bn is spent each year by the automotive industry on inventory-carrying costs at borders.