Prices for food commodities in global markets have fallen back significantly from their peaks. By this June, the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s main food price index stood at two-thirds of its level a year earlier. Dairy prices, which rocketed in 2008, had collapsed to five-year lows.
Food Security: Putting Food on Plates
Looking back through the mists of the credit crunch to the world before Lehman Brothers went bust, it is a little too easy to forget that food prices were making the news. From the end of 2007 to the middle of last year, the world saw the largest increases in a generation. They pushed tens of millions of people back into poverty and hunger, fuelled social unrest in numerous countries, prompted new trade barriers, and propelled food security to the top of the global political agenda. Headline writers have moved on, but large parts of the world are still living with punitively high food prices. The consequences will affect health and livelihoods for decades. Another such crisis is quite possible.