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AES Newsletter


Newsletter, July 2023

Letter from the President - Holiday Thoughts

One of my many faults is that turning off the work-side of my brain when going on holiday can be a bit of a struggle.  Rather than flicking a switch, it is a bit of a process; generally lasting at least a week. I suspect I am not alone in this, so I am always interested to know how others deal with it.  Slightly perversely, a preference for staying in peaceful rural spots, which are often surrounded by farmland, probably doesn't help.  Beyond that, some holidays seem to come complete with, or at least coincide with, a raft of triggers that slow down the process.  I certainly found this to be the case in the middle two weeks of July.  There was the end of the Black Sea Grain Deal, attacks on Ukraine's agricultural export infrastructure, rice export restrictions, and of course reports covering a multitude of different climatic/weather extremes in various parts of the world, with record temperatures on land and sea and unusually low levels of Antarctic Sea ice.  All of this, of course, underlines the importance of understanding better the interactions between a changing climate, agriculture, and land use more generally, as well as the implications for agricultural markets.  It also reinforces the need for cost effective and economically rational policy responses to the many climate-related challenges faced by agriculture, and the effective management of agricultural risks (yield and price).  There are many valuable insights to be drawn from other disciplines, but I continue to believe, even when on holiday, and as I argued in Warwick, that agricultural economics has a critical contribution to make!
Brendan Bayley AES President 2023-24 (brendanbayley@aol.com)

JAE Editor in Chief – Changing of the Guard

In July 2023, after some eighteen years of service, David Harvey stepped down as Editor in Chief of the Journal of Agricultural Economics (JAE). David would rightly point to the efforts of many others who have been involved, alongside him, in editing and producing the JAE. Equally, we should pause to recognise the immense and sustained contribution that David has made to the success of the journal, and hence the wider AES, over so many years. In recent times, David has overseen the submission of some 500 papers per year, honing these down - with the support of the editorial team - to fit the three volumes of the JAE that appear each year. David also had much to work on when he started the role, as the JAE moved from a paper- to an electronic-based editorial and submission system in 2005-6. There have been many other challenges since then, one of which has been adapting to the changing nature of Agricultural Economics as a subject. In the Spring 2006 edition of the JAE, for example, articles have a largely European Union context and address topics such as agricultural policy, technical efficiency, commodity markets and consumer preferences, while the Spring issue in 2023 is more diverse in coverage of both topics – such as climate change - and countries, with a much greater international flavour. Another challenge has been that the Agricultural Economics publishing landscape is quite different from what it was in the mid-2000s, with more competition, from both new titles and existing titles that traditionally did not cover Agricultural Economics’ subjects. The JAE has adapted to all these challenges – indeed, has had to adapt – and it is largely due to David’s efforts that the journal in 2023 was in a strong position to hand on to the next Editor in Chief, Jonathan Brooks. Thanks are due to David for facilitating this transition through a ‘shadowing’ period, until Jonathan took over in July. Thanks also to the Advisory and Editorial Boards, referees; and others involved with the JAE, and to David for bringing together the necessary expertise that helps to maintain the journal’s standards and its popularity with potential authors. We are delighted that David retains a role as an Associate Editor of the journal, and we wish him all the very best - and plain sailing - for the future.
Steve Ramsden, Chair AES Executive (Stephen.Ramsden1@nottingham.ac.uk)

The new Editor in Chief writes…

I am honoured to take over from David Harvey as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Agricultural Economics David anchored the journal for an astonishing 18 years, ensuring its status as a key source for cutting edge research in the areas of agriculture, food and related industries, rural development and the environment. I will strive to maintain that reputation and am fortunate to be supported by a strong editorial team. The JAE is an applied journal and welcomes contributions with fresh insights into questions that are critical to all our futures, not least how agriculture can thrive in a way that delivers food security and nutrition, safeguards the natural environment and makes a more effective contribution to mitigating and coping with the climate crisis.

Jonathan Brooks, JAE Editor in Chief (jonbrooks208@gmail.com)

EuroChoices – Making an Impact
Following the recent release of Impact Factors for academic journals, Wiley has provided us with a very positive result for EuroChoices. The journal received a first-time Clarivate IF of 2.8, an excellent result! This is testament to the quality and rigor of the papers and indicates that the journal has strong academic support, as well as being an important resource for evidence-based policy decisions. The Clarivate IF allows us to demonstrate impact to authors, while staying true to our aim of disseminating research in a less technical, more policy focused format. My thanks for the dedicated work of our team of co-editors and the high standards they demand. In 2023, we are working on a special issue of the journal on the Bioeconomy, exploring its different dimensions and growing importance within Europe and beyond.
John Davis, Editor in Chief  

EAAE Congress in Rennes, France
EAAE Congress, Rennes, 29 August to 1 September 2023 on the theme of Agri-food systems in a changing world: Connecting science and society. Details of the Congress can be accessed at https://eaae2023.colloque.inrae.fr/ 

The AES offers financial support for colleagues presenting papers at several international conferences. Look out for the deadline to attend the IAAE Congress in Delhi in 2024

Tim Lloyd EAAE and IAAE Liaison Officer (tlloyd@bournemouth.ac.uk)

Recent Publications of Interest to AES Members 

The OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2023-2032 provides a consensus assessment of the ten-year prospects for agricultural commodity and fish markets at national, regional, and global levels, and serves as a reference for forward-looking policy analysis and planning. Global food consumption is projected to increase by 1.3% per year over the next decade, a slower pace than the previous decade due to the foreseen slowdown in population and per capita income growth. A 10% increase in fertiliser prices is estimated to lead to a 2% increase in agricultural commodity prices while GHG emissions from agriculture are expected to increase by 7.5 percent to 2032, less than half the projected output growth – indicating a significant fall in the carbon intensity of agricultural production. The livestock sector is projected to account for 86 percent of the increased emissions. This year’s Outlook also provides improved estimates for food consumption by incorporating methods to estimate food loss and waste. More information at www.agri-outlook.org

Agricultural Domestic Support Under the WTO (Cambridge University Press) by Lars Brink and David Orden (a Co-Editor of EuroChoices) offers a comprehensive assessment of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture, which subjects groups of developed and developing countries to different limits on domestic support, with various exemptions. Dispute settlements have clarified interpretation of the Agriculture and Subsidies and Countervailing Measures Agreements, but gaps remain between the legal disciplines and the economic effects of support. Given today's priorities of sustainability and climate change mitigation, a strategy aligns the rules and commitments with the economic impacts of agricultural support measures. While providing in-depth analysis of the existing rules, their shortcomings and the limited scope of ongoing negotiations, in the long-term socially desirable policies are outlined addressing evolving priorities in agriculture compatible with strengthened rules that reduce trade and production distortions. The promotion code ADSWTO23 gives a 20% price discount at the Cambridge checkout through 31 December 2003.  More information at (https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009082440).

A new OECD publication Fostering Agricultural and Rural Policy Dialogue (https://lnkd.in/eJuM3ECh) highlights the scope for agricultural and rural policies to benefit from synergies when designed correctly. Janet Dwyer (former AES President) was one of the team of authors.  While agricultural policies target farms and food production, rural policies focus on ensuring the development of a territory and the well-being of the rural population. Despite these differences, both policies are often applied within the same territory and share a growing interest in improving environmental sustainability and adapting to climate change, as well as improving inclusiveness, food security and nutrition, and increasing productivity and innovation. A constructive dialogue on policies and processes is needed to enhance the synergies and coherence in policy advice and help to resolve possible trade-offs between agricultural and rural policies. There are many opportunities to build on potential synergies, including on the role of agriculture in structural change in rural areas, on diversifying farm and rural economies, and on ensuring environmental sustainability.

Reducing Inequalities for Food Security and Nutrition, the latest HLPE report of the UN Committee on World Food Security, was prepared by a team led by Bhavani Shankar (Sheffield), a former member of the AES Executive. The report highlights the ethical, socioeconomic, legal and practical imperatives for addressing these inequalities. By understanding the cumulative effects of multiple interacting inequalities on marginalized peoples the report proposes a set of measures to sustainably reduce inequalities, both within and beyond food systems. The report provides actionable recommendations addressing the systemic drivers of FSN and advocating actions in favour of equity and equality. https://www.fao.org/cfs/cfs-hlpe/insights/news-insights/news-detail/reducing-inequalities-for-food-security-and-nutrition/en

Ravenous Why Our Appetite Is Killing Us and the Planet, and What We Can Do About It (Profile Books) by Henry Dimbleby with Jemima Lewis argues that the food system is no longer simply a means of sustenance. It is one of the most successful, most innovative, and most destructive industries on earth. Diet-related disease is now the biggest cause of preventable illness and death in the developed world - far worse than smoking. The environmental damage done by the food system is also changing climate patterns and degrading the earth, risking our food security. Henry Dimbleby is co-founder of the Leon restaurant chain, UK government adviser and author of the National Food Strategy and he reveals the mechanisms that act together to shape the modern diet - and therefore the world. He explains not just why the food system is leading us into disaster, but what can be done about it. https://profilebooks.com/work/ravenous/

The Newsletter is also circulated with the JAE. The deadline for items for the next issue is 20 December 2023, to wilfrid_legg@hotmail.com  

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