Madam Speaker, the coffee industry is in crisis resulting in extreme hardship for coffee producers and workers in Africa, Latin America and Asia. In the hardest hit areas, people are starving to death as a result of the crisis. The root of the problem is overproduction fostered by World Bank policies and the marketing of low quality product.
Without a strong multilateral body such as the International Coffee Organization, producers have no protection. When supply exceeds demand, prices crash.
In 1992 the former prime minister decided to discontinue Canada's membership in the ICO, thus helping to reduce the effectiveness of the organization.
Canada's voice in the ICO would make a difference. We could be part of the solution to the crisis facing millions of African farmers. I urge the Minister of Foreign Affairs to have Canada rejoin the ICO.