Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy History

IATP works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems.

About IATP;xNLx;Mission statement;xNLx;IATP works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems.;xNLx;;xNLx;Rooted in family farms;xNLx;In the mid-1980s, family farmers across America were in the fight of their lives. Prices had dropped below the cost of production. Family farmers were told they were inefficient and they had to either get big or get out. Deeply flawed national and international policies were the root cause of the crisis. A galvanizing effort to save the family farm helped spawn the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP). In 1986, IATP began documenting the underlying causes of America's rural crisis and proposing policies that would benefit farmers, consumers, rural communities and the environment. Read more about IATP's history;xNLx;;xNLx;Facing globalization;xNLx;IATP works with organizations around the world to analyze how global trade agreements impact domestic farm and food policies. Alongside a global coalition, IATP advocates for fair trade policies that promote strong health standards, labor and human rights, the environment and, most fundamentally, democratic institutions.;xNLx;;xNLx;Building sustainability;xNLx;We are developing alternative economic models that include clean sources of energy such as wind power and biofuel that would spur rural development. We're working with landowners to form cooperatives that promote sustainable forest management. We're advocating for green businesses and farms that reduce toxic runoff into the Great Lakes and Mississippi River.;xNLx;;xNLx;Safe food, healthy ecosystems;xNLx;We are working to stop the overuse of antibiotics in agriculture and aquaculture, while limiting the release of mercury and other toxic pollutants that fall onto farmland and enter the food supply. IATP is also monitoring the impact of genetically engineered crops on the environment, human health and farmer income.

1985-11-01 00:00:00

Globalization, meet IATP

In November of 1985, at a conference in Geneva titled "The Impact of Agricultural Trade on Domestic Farm Policies," a group of farm leaders proposed the creation of a U.S. - based organization to examine the role of trade and international institutions on national farm policy.

1986-01-01 00:00:00

IATP's creation

Working with Mark Ritchie, IATP's founder, the farm leaders who proposed a U.S. organization at The Impact of Agricultural Trade on Domestic Farm Policies conference formed IATP. Arie vanden Brand from the Netherlands became chair of a board that included representation from Germany, France, Japan, Brasil, Canada and the United States.

1986-01-01 00:00:00

International Farm Crisis Summit

In partnership with North American Farm Alliance, IATP holds an International Farm Crisis Summit in St. Louis, Missouri.

1986-09-01 00:00:00

Uruguay Round of GATT

Uruguay Round of GATT launched

1987-02-10 06:16:53

Sustainable Agriculture Computer Network

IATP opens the Sustainable Agriculture Computer Network and began publishing a series of News Bulletins, the first of which was Trade News.

1987-10-04 06:16:53

U.S.-Canadian Free Trade Agreement

As GATT talks in Geneva were encountering resistance the U.S. pushed through the first comprehensive bilateral trade agreement, the U.S.-Canadian Free Trade Agreement, enacted in Canada despite widespread opposition.

1988-04-17 06:11:38

Inernational Farm Crisis Summit in St. Louis Missouri

Again, in partnership with North American Farm Alliance, IATP holds another Inernational Farm Crisis Summit in St. Louis Missouri

1989-04-15 06:11:38

Tianamen Square

April 15, 1989 - June 4, 1989 Tianamen Square

1989-11-09 06:11:38

Berlin Wall

September 1989 the "Peaceful Revolution" begins in East Germany. By November 9 the dismantaling of the Berlin Wall begins.

1990-11-28 06:11:38

Farm Bill debates

IATP deeply involved in the Farm Bill debates

1990-11-28 06:11:38

1990 Farm Bill

1990 Farm Bill - Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act

1991-01-01 06:11:38

IATP publishes a daily online newsletter on GATT and NAFTA

IATP publishes a daily online newsletter on GATT and NAFTA that's read by thousands.

1991-06-12 06:11:38

NAFTA talks start

Frustrated with the pace of multilateral trade talks in Geneva, President George H. W. Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney spearheaded talks on an expanded free trade agreement titled the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.

1991-10-15 06:11:38

IATP sponsored tri-national farmer exchanges

Working with partners in Mexico and Canada, IATP sponsored tri-national farmer exchanges, and co-hosted weekly conference calls with activists across the country.

1992-01-01 06:11:38

IATP helped create the Inter-American Network on Agriculture and Democracy (RIAD)

IATP helps create the Inter-American Network on Agriculture and Democracy (RIAD), which goes on to hold three hemispheric assemblies, giving voice to indigenous and peasant farmers in Latin and South America

1992-01-01 06:11:38

Impacts of Trade on Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry

IATP hosted citizen dialogues and briefings on the ecological impacts of trade on sustainable agriculture and forestry.

1992-06-03 06:11:38

Biodiversity in Rio

In Rio, IATP gives special attention to the issues of biodiversity and the right of farmers to collect, save and grow their own seeds.

1992-06-03 06:11:38

Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro

June 3, 1992 - June 14, 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro establishes broad outlines of the vital global issues that are at stake. The Earth Summit brought together 2,400 officially accredited NGOs, establishing civil society as a significant sector in the global arena. In addition to the Convention on Biodiversity, the Earth Summit produced the Forest Principles and the Convention on Climate Change.

1993-01-01 06:11:38

Global Cafe

IATP begins airing Global Cafe on cable access airwaves, the show would produce over 150 one-hour segments.

1993-01-01 06:11:38

IATP publishes papers in response to NAFTA

In response to NAFTA, IATP produces NAFTA's Dispute Settlement Provisions: An Analysis, Truck Scales and Economies of Scale: Weighing NAFTA and the Politics of Transportation, Women, NAFTA and Beyond: Constructive Cooperation or Destructive Competition?, U.S. Citizens' Analysis of the North American Free Trade Agreement: Chapter on Agriculture, The North AMerican Free Trade Agreement: Impacts on Indigenous Peoples, NAFTA, Bovine TB, and U.S. Importation of Mexican Feeder Cattle.

1993-04-06 22:24:59

Minnesota Safe Food Link

IATP co-founded Minnesota Safe Food Link with Citizens Organized Acting Together (COACT) to support farmer-led boycotts against the use of artificial hormones in food.

1993-08-12 06:11:38

IATP launches Selling to America

IATP launches Selling to America, a training program for cooperative leaders and policymakers from developing countries.

1993-11-17 06:11:38

NAFTA passes House and Senate

November 17, 1993 NAFTA passes House and Senate.

1994-01-01 22:24:59

FDA approves recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH)

FDA approves recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH)

1994-01-01 22:24:59

Zapatistas Sixth Declaration

January 1, 1994 the Zapatistas, in their Sixth Declaration of the Selva Lacandona, link their struggle for control of natural resources and indiginous culture to globalization.

1994-04-15 22:24:59

Uruguay Round of GATT concludes

The Uruguay Round of GATT concludes. Member countries were unable to come to an agreement on many of the major agenda items, including the Agreement on Agriculture. The most contentious issues were put into something called the "built-in agenda" and the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs was transformed into the World Trade Organization (WTO), with an expanded mandate.

1994-10-15 22:24:59

50th anniversary of the Benton Woods conference

IATP hosted the 50th anniversary of the Benton Woods conference at the Mount Washington Hotel in New Hampshire, bringing together the surviving participants who gave us the postwar system of international finance and trade, and the International Monetary Fund.

1995-01-01 08:47:25

1995 Farm Bill talks

The 1995 Farm Bill talks jettisoned the last vestiges of the New Deal's supply-management programs.

1995-05-06 08:47:25

Science and Strategy on Chlorine conference

IATP organizes the Science and Strategy on Chlorine conference.

1995-08-20 08:47:25

50th anniversary of the founding of the U.N.

IATP celebrates the 50th anniversary of the founding of the U.N. in April of 1995. Held in the historic original setting of the San Fransico Opera House, the event was both a celebration and an examination of the future role of international institutions

1995-09-25 22:24:59

IATP starts a new area of work on eco-labeling

IATP starts a new area of work on eco-labeling, which leads to a series of conferences and papers examining the opportunities and risks that the emerging standard presented.

1995-10-16 08:47:25

50th anniversary of the founding of the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

IATP partnered with Canadian food security organizations on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

1995-11-05 08:47:25

Watershed Protection Initiative

IATP hosts the Watershed Protection Initiative, a national conference that focused on the interconnections between natural resources and human activities to protect watersheds.

1996-01-01 11:52:15

IATP co-founds the North American Indigenous People's Biodiversity Project

In conjunction with the Indigenous Environmental Network and the International Indian Treaty Council, IATP co-founds the North American Indigenous People's Biodiversity Project in 1996.

1996-01-01 11:52:15

World Food Summit

World Food Summit in Rome.

1996-03-13 11:52:15

IATP introduces DOG

IATP forms the Digital Organizing Group which customizes a content management suite leased out to various friends and partner organizations.

1996-04-19 13:37:41

IATP incorporates TransFair USA

IATP incorporates TransFair USA, the national arm of a fair trade certifying organization that helped introduce fair trade products throughout the United States. TransFair continued to grow and eventually separated from IATP and moved its headquarters to California.

1996-06-14 11:52:15

IATP hosts the North American planning meeting

In the lead up to the World Food Summit, IATP hosts the North American planning meeting in Minnesota, bringing together NGOs and farm organizations from the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

1996-07-11 11:52:15

Peace Coffee begins

Following the passage of the 1996 Farm Bill, IATP hosts a delegation of Mexican farmers and cooperatives to examine how the new farm legislation would impact agricultural production in Mexico. During the talks, the leader of a Mexican coffee cooperative proposed that IATP buy and sell fair trade organic coffee. This was the birth of Peace Coffee, a for-profit subsidiary of IATP that has grown to be the largest marketer of fair trade coffee in the region.

1996-10-21 11:52:15

IATP gets a new home

IATP settles into a new home in the historic Fair Oaks district of Minneapolis after outgrowing Mark Ritchie's basement, a community center and a warren of rented offices in a former high school.

1996-11-01 11:52:15

IATP publishes the Global Convention of Food Security

IATP publishes the Global Convention of Food Security which was widely endorsed by delegates in Rome, but opposed by U.S. State department who feared that U.S. welfare reform would be declared a human rights violation.

1996-12-09 13:37:41

WTO lack of transparency

IATP challenged the WTO's lack of transparency at the Singapore ministerial.

1996-12-09 13:37:41

WTO ministerial in Singapore

WTO ministerial in Singapore

1997-06-01 13:37:41

No Patents on Life campaign

IATP launched the No Patents on Life campaign and published The Ownership of Life: When Patents and Values Clash in response to the WTO's Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), which includes patents on seeds and medicines.

1997-09-01 13:37:41

IATP works to certify 2 million acres of publicly owned forest land as sustainably managed

IATP works to certify 2 million acres of publicly owned forest land as sustainably managed. Atkin County, Minnesota was the first forest land to be certified.

1998-01-01 13:37:41

Community Forestry Resource Center

IATP's Community Forestry Resource Center is opened

1998-01-01 13:37:41

Carbon sequestration

IATP begins work on climate change mitigation through carbon sequestration after a American Corn Growers Association research project.

1998-12-04 13:37:41

50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

IATP commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with a nation conference in New York City featuring Jesse Jackson, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and actor Danny Glover.

1999-01-01 13:37:41

WTOWatch.org

IATP launches WTOWatch.org a website that live streamed video of hundreds of events and protests taking place during the ministerial.

1999-01-01 13:37:41

farmer and peasant rights to indigenous plants

In Geneva, IATP works with WTO trade negotiators from developing countries to establish farmer and peasant rights to indigenous plants without fear of patent violations.

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy History

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