Lynn Bergeson

Agriculture and Food Section

The Agriculture and Food Section (AFS) is for those interested in any area of the ever-evolving area of agricultural law. Learn more about our section below. 



About the Section

The Agriculture and Food Section (AFS), formerly the Agricultural Law Section (ALS) is a young and dynamic Section that focuses on the ever evolving and critically important intersection of agricultural and food law and policy. What could be more essential, more urgent, and more fascinating than the complex law and policy issues invited by the imperative to feed the planet, to do so equitably, and to do so effectively in a time of climate change and during/post a global pandemic? The AFS covers a comprehensive and emerging legal practice area, in particular relating to:

  • Agriculture land usage
  • Food production, distribution, and shortages
  • Ownership and farmers’ rights
  • Seed law, plant variety law, and biotechnology
  • Food trade, food safety, and food liability
  • Agri teche
  • Sustainable Agriculture—practices and investment strategies
  • And much more!

Latest news

The Agriculture and Food Section is pleased to share a scholarship opportunity for attending the IBA Annual Conference in Paris, that will take place between 29 October and 3 November 2023.

The Annual Conference Scholarship award includes the following:

  • waived registration for the IBA Annual Conference;
  • accommodation while attending the conference;
  • contribution towards travel costs to attend the conference;
  • two years' free membership of the IBA;
  • and a waiver of either the following years' IBA Annual Conference registration fee or a waived registration fee to attend a speciality conference organised by the IBA.

If interested, please submit an essay on the topic “Digitisation of agriculture and food produce” by midnight British Summer Time (BST) on Wednesday 31 May 2023.

More information can be found on the IBA website, under Agriculture and Food Section in the 2023 Annual Conference Scholarship Listing

Highlights From the Agriculture and Food Section Presentations at the IBA Annual Conference

The International Bar Association (IBA) Annual Conferencetook place in Miami between October 30 and November 4, 2022. During the Annual Conference, the Agriculture and Food Section (AFS) welcomed attendees to several events: an open committee meeting on October 31 and two sessions on current topics in agricultural law on October 31 and November 3. During the open committee meeting, AFS Officers discussed matters of interest and future activities. The committee meeting was attended by several AFS Officers, such as Senior Vice Chair, Fabrizio Paratore; Publication and Newsletter Editor, Adeniji A. Oni; and Member of the AFS Advisory Board and former AFS Chair, Sara Moyo.

The first presentation, on October 31, was titled “Agricultural Food Products Availability and Pricing in Pandemic Times -- Has Anything Changed? ” The session explored the challenges faced by farmers, food businesses, consumers, and environmental institutions and entities when dealing with the global tensions that concern the production and supply of food commodities and products, in relation to farming costs and financing. The panel, moderated by Fabrizio Paratore, discussed strategic and legal solutions to be adopted to prevent present and future stress conditions from happening throughout the healthy and less healthy areas of the world. This session’s speakers were former U.S. Senator Byron L. Dorgan (D-ND), now with ArentFox Schiff in Washington, D.C.; Courtney Esko, from TreeHouse Foods in Oak Brook, Illinois; Simon Hotte from FIDAL in Lyon, France; and Adeniji A. Oni from Niji Oni & Co. in Lagos, Nigeria.

The second presentation, on November 3, during the session “Sustainability Focus: Sustainable Investment in Agriculture -- The Role Lawyers Play,” was titled “Responsible Land-Based Investments in Agriculture: Africa and Asia-Pacific.” The session explored the current regulatory framework for sustainable and responsible investment in agriculture, with a focus on Africa and the Asia-Pacific region and how this can contribute to the mitigation of the climate crisis. It analyzed how lawyers in the private and public sectors can use a variety of legal tools, including environmental and human rights law, to promote sustainable and responsible investment in agriculture within their national contexts. The session was moderated by Sara Moyo and Nusrat Hassan, and the speakers were Adeniji A. Oni and Valerie Anne Johnston, from the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN), in Rome, Italy. In response to positive feedback, AFS is planning to organize a presentation on the same topic covering Central and South America for May 2023.

Alfred L.J. Page, Liaison Officer; Fabrizio Paratore, Senior Vice Chair; Sara Moyo, Member of the Advisory Board and former Chair; Jan Holthuis, Co-Chair; and Adeniji A. Oni, Publication and Newsletter Editor.

Please contact the IBA Membership Office at if you are interested in joining, or e-mail for more information about the AFS.


Watch this fascinating webinar on responsible land-based investment in Africa and Asia. This 40-minite video tells you everything you need to know about why you should join the Section!

Regulation of the eco-marine system as a guide to sustainable development growth post Covid-19

Although 38 per cent of the world’s population live within a narrow fringe of coastal land, it occupies only 7.6 per cent of the Earth’s total land surface (UN Environment Programme 2006). These populations largely depend on coastal resources for their livelihoods.

Released on Jun 01, 2021

Harnessing SAATM and an Africa-UK trade agreement to enable agricultural development

The United Kingdom depends significantly on agricultural imports to meet domestic food demand importing more than 40 per cent of its total food requirements. Demand is expected to increase steadily in future due to anticipated population growth.

Released on Jun 01, 2021

The essential role of evolving technologies in securing a safe and sustainable food supply

Emerging tools enabled by nanotechnology, synthetic biology, and other innovative technologies are today increasingly supplementing the ploughs and tractors so emblematic of the agricultural community of the past. These precision farming tools are ensuring a sustainable food supply otherwise threatened by climate change and population growth, among other global challenges, while diminishing worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

Released on Jun 01, 2021

Covid-19 and the risk to food supply chains

The food supply chain is still strong and is not suffering from contraction so far. We have also been informed of a strong increase in orders of food products (both commodities and processed goods) during the Covid-19 crisis.

Released on Apr 03, 2020

IBA Global Insight: AFS contributions

Sri Lanka: Attach rule of law commitments to country’s bailout, urge experts. In this news analysis, Nusrat Hassan Co-Chair of the IBA Agriculture and Food Section Section was interviewed about the situation in Sri Lanka.

'Miles-long petrol queues, empty shop shelves and fields that produce only half the crops they used to: these are the more obvious signifiers of Sri Lanka’s current economic crisis. The less visible are the meals citizens are beginning to miss as a result of unaffordable food and the time at school children are missing as the country tries to save power.

Sri Lanka is in the throes of an economic crisis that’s swiftly morphing into a humanitarian disaster and wreaking havoc on the rule of law. As a result, international support should come with the caveat of instilling democratic rule, experts say.'

Read the full article: Sri Lanka: Attach rule of law commitments to country’s bailout, urge experts.

Subcommittees and other groups

The Agriculture and Food Section also coordinates the activities of the following subcommittees/working groups.

  • Agriculture and Food Section Advisory Board