The news that inflation has finally dropped from a double-digit, 40-year high rate is positive.

However, it only means things are bad, but not quite as bad as they were. Rising prices are still hurting and the big one – food – is still leading the charge, despite a steady fall in global commodity prices.

This affects farmers and for them it is a difficult issue to explain to consumers. Economic 'lags' before lower commodity prices are felt are why food prices are still rising.

Farmers need to convince consumers they, too, are losers from these high prices, that margin pressures remain a fact of life and that rising costs elsewhere along the food chain are driving cost increases on supermarket shelves.

On the positive side, one of the factors that has driven down the headline inflation rate – energy costs – is good news for farming, since this will impact fuel and fertiliser costs, which have been the biggest sources of margin pressure on farms across Europe.

Food price inflation opened up, briefly for the UK, a new debate around food security. Earlier this month, food finally rose up the government's agenda, with the food summit in London.

Much was said by politicians as they posed for the cameras, but few in the industry will be holding their breath for anything different to emerge from Downing Street, or other government departments.

Political platitudes are always easy, but substance is much harder to deliver and there are, as yet, no early signs of that happening. The agenda for agriculture remains dominated by green issues and a belief that this can drive quality food production, rather than being a by-product of a secure food supply from professional farmers at the top of their game in producing food and managing the countryside.

Into this argument has stepped an organisation not known for radical thinking. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) represents the world's developed economies.

It is a largely research-based body that takes an independent and emotion-free view of global economics. In short, it's an organisation for nerd economists.

Over 'green' issues, it published a recent report suggesting that countries around the world pursuing independent such policies had global implications for markets. It also raised the elephant in the room issue – that pursuing them does not necessarily cure the issues being tackled, but through 'pollution leakage' move them to other countries.

It does not use the term 'out of sight, out of mind' which is often what rich countries do to shine up their green credentials, whilst keeping supermarket shelves stocked with cheap food.

The OECD report looked at two key green issues being pursued in different ways and with different intensities by national governments. These are climate change mitigation and the environmental impact of pesticides.

These are worthy objectives, but the OECD pointed out that there was a lack of joined up thinking in how these were applied, meaning they affect global markets and competition.

What it did not say was that leakage meant green policies will not then be effective at tackling a global issue like climate change. Regardless of where carbon is created, the climate impact is the same.

Indeed, there are arguments that it may make things worse because standards elsewhere may not be as good as in the countries 'exporting' their problems.

The report described the approach being adopted by government as 'unilateral policies being applied in an inter-connected world', meaning the impact and fallout from the policies cannot be limited to the single country where they are being implemented.

This, said the OECD, was why green policies affect markets, competition, the competitive position of farmers in individual countries and trigger pollution leakage.

The common thread seemed to be that all governments want to deliver simplistic solutions that will please voters and look good, but without thinking the policies through.

The OECD said there were two possible approaches, each with their own problems. The first relied on environmental policies through regulations, which limit environmental impacts but create issues around competitiveness and leakage.

The second involved policies acting on supply and demand, which limit competitiveness and leakage impacts but will be slower to deliver environmental gains.

Like the little boy watching the naked emperor in his absent fine clothes, the OECD report was effectively saying no government had come up with a logical, let alone robust, policy to deliver green outcomes in a world based around free trade.