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Soaring food prices raise new crisis fears

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Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Soaring food prices raise new crisis fears

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) last week warned that food prices for basic commodities hit record highs last month, fuelling fears of inflation, protectionism, unrest and reduced demand from emerging economies. According to the UN’s latest food price index, December 2010 prices overtook 2008 levels when spikes in prices triggered violent protests in Latin America, Africa and Asia - demonstrating the immediate impact that basic commodity price rises have on the world's poorest populations.The European Commission says that there is no single cause and no simple explanation for the increase in food prices and believes the hikes are driven by factors such as increased global demand, bad harvests in exporting countries, export bans and speculation. EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Cioloş said the food price increases "show the importance of a strong Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)" and suggest that one of the principal objectives of discussions on the post-2013 CAP should be "viable food production". "The provision of safe and sufficient food supplies, in the context of growing global demand, economic crisis and much greater market volatility is fundamental and will be one of the main elements the Commission will consider when making its proposals for the future CAP in the middle of this year," he added.

 Source: EurActiv