Research and analysis

Can trade improve food security?

Examines how trade can secure stable food supplies, enabling imports to meet shortfalls in local production and ease price instability.



This paper explores why food security matters, how trade can contribute to food security, and how governments can help trade achieve its potential to increase food security.

It concludes that both domestic and international trade’s greatest contribution to food security is by helping to raise incomes, increasing the ability of households to purchase food. Trade also helps by balancing supply and demand, and encouraging greater productivity. Trade also stabilises prices, particularly when trade barriers do not distort markets. Trade policy is just one tool of many that can help increase food security.

One of a series of research papers supporting conclusions from the government’s Trade and investment for growth white paper.

Published 30 January 2013