Against the Grain: Sustainable Agriculture and the Global
LEAD International Session on Future Food Security
Imperial College London, Wye, Kent, United Kingdom
1-6 April and 15-20 April 2004
Sessions will last one week and will have several distinctive
first two days will center on the main theme of Sustainable
Agriculture within the Global Food Economy and related issues.
The topic will be introduced from a global perspective, making
use of prominent national and international speakers on food
issues. Associates will examine different perspectives on
agricultural sustainability and food security, including those
of international agencies, national and local governments,
NGOs, and civil society in both the North and South.
key areas will be explored in a series of panel discussions.
The following four themes will be addressed in panel discussions:
Myth of Scarcity: Increased Production and Food Security
This panel discussion will examine issues around food production,
access to food, and food security and insecurity. These issues
arise from comparison of changes in food production and food
insecurity over the last 40 years, and from consideration
of possible scenarios regarding population growth and food
Modified Foods and Food Security
Genetic engineering in agriculture is being promoted as the
panacea to food insecurity in the South, amidst much public
debate here in the UK as well as internationally. This panel
will discuss the role and contribution of biotechnology not
only in alleviating food insecurity, but also in the areas
of enhancing food quality and food safety.
the Market: Trade Liberalisation and Agricultural Subsidies
The panel will explore debates relating to the potential for
trade liberalisation to reduce the current impacts of northern
countries agricultural and trade policies both on their own
societies and on developing countries.
Supply Chains: threats and opportunities to North & South,
Producers & Consumers
This panel session is concerned with the battle for supremacy
in a food industry in which competition is played on a global
field, with fewer, larger, global players battling for market
In order to strengthen the experiential component of the learning
process, Associates will visit a number of organisations engaged
in different food production, importation, and distribution
activities in the UK. The focus will be to gain exposure to
several elements of the food chain. These site visits will
provide concrete cases for consideration of issues raised
in plenary sessions and panel discussions. Working groups
will report on these issues in group presentations at the
end of the session.
these site visits, Associates will be engaged in Leadership
skill training. This will include a skills module that will
focus on ethical decision-making for sustainable development.
Associates will also have the opportunity to meet and discuss
sustainable development and the challenges it poses for leadership
with prominent individuals during a Leadership Panel.
their arrival from over 45 countries, Associates will have
completed individual assignments to become familiar with food
security and sustainability issues, internationally and in
their own regions, with assistance from material prepared
by LEAD International and Imperial College staff.
International International Session Official Information