Since World War II barriers to international trade in industrial commodities have been reduced while barriers to agricultural commodity trade have become more severe. During the last several decades the world has experienced cycles of "food pessimism" and "food optimism." Nevertheless, as a result of technical change the terms at which the world's consumers can expect to have access to food appears to be more favorable in the future than in the past. If consumers are to have access to the greater abundance that can be made available, it will be necessary for developed market economies to reduce the distortions resulting from agricultural commodity and trade policies. It is in the interest of both producers and consumers, in developed and developing countries, that the world move toward an international trading regime in which agricultural commodities move across national borders at least as freely as financial resources.