The world is not going hungry, thanks to GAFTA for playing a vital role in facilitating the global trade of grains, feeds, and related agricultural products. It ensures a steady supply of these essential commodities to feed the world’s growing population, notes Roman Zenon Dawidowicz.

People around the globe can enjoy safe, high-quality food while still protecting the interest of the farmers. Roman Zenon Dawidowicz walks you down the lane of critical role GAFTA plays in feeding the world, delving into its origins, development, and impact on global trade practices and agricultural advancements.

Where GAFTA All Begins

International trade has been around for centuries. However, it was then a complex affair, lacking standardized practices. Disputes over quality, delivery terms, and payments were commonplace. GAFTA came into existence in 1878 when it was established as the London Corn Trade Association (LCTA) by a group of corn merchants in the United Kingdom.

This group of forward-thinking grain traders envisioned an organization that could streamline these processes and protect the interests of all stakeholders. Thus, GAFTA was born. Over the decades, GAFTA has steadily expanded its reach and international trade has grown in leaps and bounds over the last decades.

Today, it boasts over 2000 members in 100 countries, encompassing a diverse range of professionals – traders, brokers, analysts, and even fumigators. Notably, 80 percent of the world’s grain trade is carried out on GAFTA’s contract.

Feeding the World: GAFTA’s Crucial Role in Global Trade

GAFTA’s primary mission is to facilitate the smooth flow of international trade in grains, feed, pulses, rice, and other agricultural products. The aim is to ensure and preserve fairness in trading and It achieves this through several key initiatives:

Standardized Contracts

GAFTA contracts serves as the basis of the organization, providing a clear and well-defined framework for international grain trade. It provides over 80 standardized contracts in cljdingn rules and clauses binding the parties involved in trade.

These contracts address critical aspects such as quality specifications, delivery terms, payment methods, and dispute resolution. It is clear and concise, promoting framework for trade, GAFTA contracts reduce misunderstandings, minimize risks, and expedite transactions.


GAFTA’s robust arbitration service serves as a neutral platform for settling trade disputes. This service ensures fair and efficient resolution of conflicts, fostering trust and confidence within the trade community. GAFTA’s arbitration service saw a surge in activity in 2023 with 337 new cases and damages of $US 162,522,377 awarded.

The Russian-Ukraine war for instance affected international trade. The market became volatile and more breaches of contracts tend to occur as a result of like the withdrawal of Russia from the Black Sea safe corridor agreement, which caused price fluctuations.

One unique aspect of GAFTA arbitration is the exclusion of lawyers from private firms. However, parties are allowed to be represented by their in-house counsel. The goal is to safeguard the principle of trade arbitration.

Trade Policy Advocacy

GAFTA actively engages with governments and international institutions on matters impacting trade in agricultural commodities. This advocacy ensures that regulations and policies support the efficient movement of food supplies across borders. From production to transportation, they ensure an efficient flow of feeds and grains across borders.

Knowledge Sharing and Education

GAFTA offers its members a wealth of educational resources and training programs. These initiatives equip professionals with the latest trade knowledge and best practices, contributing to a more informed and skilled workforce.

They are no doubt promoting the development of high quality grains and ensuring people arcos the globe feeds on the best. The impact of GAFTA’s work is undeniable. Standardized contracts facilitate efficient trade, fostering global food security by ensuring timely deliveries of essential grains and feed to countries in need.

Furthermore, GAFTA’s advocacy efforts help to create a more open and predictable trading environment, encouraging investments in agricultural production and infrastructure development.

GAFTA’s Impact on Agricultural Practices

GAFTA’s influence extends beyond facilitating trade. By promoting standardized quality specifications, GAFTA indirectly encourages farmers to adopt practices that improve crop quality and consistency. This, in turn, reduces losses and ensures that more food reaches our tables. GAFTA also contributes to the development of robust infrastructure for storage and transportation.

Challenges and Opportunities

While GAFTA has contributed significantly in the global trade of grains and feeds, the industry challenges and opportunities it faces cannot be ignored, says Roman Zenon Dawidowicz. Notable ones include:

Technological Advancements

technology advancement is revolutionizing industries and agricultural sector is not left out. Adopting new technologies, such as precision farming, data analytics, and biotechnology can be facilitated by GAFTA. This can be done by providing educational resources and promoting best practices.

Climate Change

Climate change poses a significant threat to agricultural production and food security. GAFTA must develop strategies for mitigating the impact of climate change and promoting climate-resilient agricultural practices.


Different countries and regions have varying regulations and standards for grains and feeds. GAFTA can work towards harmonizing these regulations to facilitate smoother global trade and reduce barriers to entry for traders and producers.


The impact of GAFTA in international trade cannot be overrated. However, by addressing the challenges and seizing the opportunities presented by a rapidly evolving industry, GAFTA will continue to play a vital role in feeding the world and ensuring a sustainable future for generations to come.