Tag: food prices

Introducing Growbag, a round up of new research on food, farming and climate by guest blogger Richard King

I can’t keep up with the flood of research on the issues related to the GROW campaign, so my ever-hungry colleague Richard King is riding to the rescue…… This occasional ‘blog series is a nutritionally dense (but non-exhaustive) collection of links, highlighting major recent publications and miscellaneous happenings that are relevant to Oxfam’s GROW campaign. […]

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Living on a spike – how are high food prices actually experienced by people living in poverty?

The G20’s Agriculture Ministers are meeting for the first time today and tomorrow, in Paris, a sign of the rising importance of food security and related issues, following the recent chaos in global food prices (see graph). Oxfam is focussing its lobby efforts on biofuels (in many cases, a bad thing, diverting food to fuel […]

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Food prices: what's happening in local currencies and how are governments responding?

Most of the discussion around the renewed food price spike is conducted in terms of world prices, dollar denominated. But people buy food in local currencies, which may or may not follow the dollar trend. UNICEF has a helpful new (30 page) paper out which looks at local food prices across 58 developing countries in […]

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Are food prices becoming more volatile? Yes, says the FAO (but it doesn't know what to do about it)

The latest in the excellent two pagers from the FAO’s ‘Economic and Social Perspectives’ series looks at price volatility in agricultural markets. It finds that over recent decades, staple food prices have indeed become more volatile. The graph shows a measure of volatility – the market’s expectation of how much the price of a commodity […]

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On Al Jazeera's sofa with David Frost and Carl Lewis

Working for an NGO can be pretty routine sometimes – meetings, papers, teleconferences. And then the press office phones up and asks ‘would you mind going on Al Jazeera to discuss the food price crisis with Sir David Frost and Carl Lewis?’ Hell yeah. For those of you who are too young to remember, Carl […]

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The Upside of High Food Prices

Nice pieces from agricultural economist Steve Wiggins on the ODI and Guardian blogs, which I quote at length, because I think it’s an important correction to the discussion on the current food price spike. ‘In 2008 developing countries, and poor people within them, were hit hard by the price spike in the international cereals market. Once […]

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The food price crisis and the World Bank's blind spots

World Bank President Robert Zoellick, or at least his press team, responded promptly to last week’s concerns on a new food price spike with a comment piece in the FT. It’s fascinating as much for what is missing as for what is in there. On the plus side, Zoellick gives due priority to food as […]

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World food prices hit record high, so why no riots?

According to the Financial Times, the FAO has just reported that world food prices are now higher than their peak during the ‘food price crisis’ of 2008 (see graph). But the last spike was marked by riots in some 30 countries, global emergency meetings, new initiatives etc. Why is everything so quiet this time around? […]

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Global price chaos – is another food crisis on the way?

Today in the FT: “Sugar prices suffered their biggest one-day sell-off in 30 years on Thursday, tumbling by as much as 11 per cent after speculators pulled out from the market in the wake of dizzying gains. The sell-off, which came just hours after the sweetener hit a 30-year high, started after the European Commission […]

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So do food price spikes cause riots or not?

I’m a big fan of Chris Blattman’s blog (as the number of ‘hat tips’ – [h/t] – on this one demonstrates), but he lost it a bit in his recent post on food riots. Here’s what he says: ‘Globalization and growth should reduce price spikes in future. More countries are producing crops. Climate shocks in […]

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The State of World Hunger in Graphs

This from the FAO’s ‘State of Food Insecurity in the World 2009’. Click on the graphs. After decades of improvements, the number of undernourished people (in millions) in the world has been rising rapidly since the mid 1990s.       Even as a proportion of total population, hunger started rising in the middle of […]

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Bad news on food prices – they're going up again

According to the FAO’s excellent and user friendly (even I can make it work) website on world food prices, which has both global price trends and breakdowns by individual country/commodity, world food prices bottomed out some time in February this year, and are now on their way back up again (see graphs – composite food price […]

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