Food Security in the European Union, Latin American and the Caribbean: The Cases of Cuba and Spain

This publication is the result of a study financed by the EU-LAC Foundation to analyse the impact of agricultural policies on food and nutrition security as well as on the food sovereignty of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and the European Union (EU) in the 2007-2015 period.

The study explores the multidimensional indicators of food and nutrition security and off ers a qualitative analysis of food sovereignty for the cases of Cuba and Spain, while establishing three key conclusions for further refl ection and as basis for future scholarship:

– In LAC, the food crisis (2007-2008) set off a series of strategies/policies to overcome its consequences. Thus, advances in the reduction of malnutrition have been made over the past years in the region and new approaches to food sovereignty have been developed, with thus far limited and heterogeneous results.

– In the EU, successive reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy have gradually reduced agrarian supports and extended the role of farmers in the rural development which goes beyond the mere production of food. But these transformations have not addressed issues of small farmers in respect of their channels of distribution and commercialisation.

– The comparative study between Cuba and Spain has revealed that, despite having faced a deep crisis, the Caribbean nation has displayed indicators of food and nutritional security which are similar to those of developed countries, especially because of the public policies adopted towards the primary sector. Spain, in turn, has the capacity to cover nearly the entire demand for food of its population thanks to suffi cient cultivable land and coasts as well as a diversifi ed agriculture.

Among others, the following recommendations for policies of agricultural development are being proposed:

– Greater attention to and interconnection between access problems and other problems of availability, utilization and stability – which are fundamental dimensions of food security;

– Improvement of access to essential resources (mainly concerning land, credits, and the market) in LAC and to distribution channels of agricultural production in the EU;

– Need to consider the potential of family-based agriculture to secure the nutrition of the population in less developed countries, particularly taking account of external shocks such as food crises;

– Need to incorporate strategies of agrarian development which combine the promotion of exports with traditional/staple grain production for the internal market and national food sovereignty.