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Research – Rising food prices

Posted in Research by fedwards on May 8th, 2008

The report listed below was found on the Australian Policy Online newsletter and thought it might interest the Sustainable Cities Network audience. A link to the entire article is listed after the article.

Rising food prices: what should be done?
Joachim von Braun / International Food Policy Research Institute
Posted: 27-04-2008

The sharp increase in food prices over the past couple of years has raised serious concerns about the food and nutrition situation of poor people in developing countries, about inflation, and – in some countries – about civil unrest. Real prices are still below their mid-1970s peak, but they have reached their highest point since that time. Both developing- and developed-country governments have roles to play in bringing prices under control and in helping poor people cope with higher food bills.

In 2007 the food price index calculated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) rose by nearly 40 percent, compared with 9 percent the year before, and in the first months of 2008 prices again increased drastically. Nearly every agricultural commodity is part of this rising price trend. Since 2000 – a year of low prices – the wheat price in the international market has more than tripled and maize prices have more than doubled. The price of rice jumped to unprecedented levels in March 2008. Dairy products, meat, poultry, palm oil, and cassava have also experienced price hikes. When adjusted for inflation and the dollar’s decline (by reporting in euros, for example), food price increases are smaller but still dramatic, with often serious consequences for the purchasing power of the poor.

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