Date of this Version
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
It is a pleasure for me to speak this evening before such a distinguished group of agribusiness and academic representatives, all of whom have a common interest. Twenty years ago, that interest would have been denominated as "agricultural policy". Today it would be called "food policy", which presumably is a broader term. Food policy is usually defined to encompass the interests of everyone in the production and marketing process from producer to consumer. It is by no means limited geographically, but encompasses people and firms who are involved -- directly or indirectly, domestically and internationally - in the food business. Allegedly, this broad definition is required because those who worked with agricultural policy a decade or two ago were inordinately producer oriented. Perhaps that charge is justified in some instances, but in my judgment it was the exception rather than the rule. Most agribusiness firms and most agricultural policy experts have always sought to balance the interests of all those who are intertwined in the food chain. Nevertheless, "food policy" is with us for a long time to come, so it behooves all of us to become actively involved in developing that policy.