Food price surge is a wake-up call
Published: September 6 2010 02:20 | Last updated: September 6 2010 02:38
From Ms Kirtana Chandrasekaran, Mr John Hilary, Mr Julian Oram, Ms Emma Hockridge and Mr Tim Rice.
|Move on: increasing demand for meat and dairy is fuelling speculation|
The food price crisis is not just built on shortage of crop supply, it's built on a shortage of all the finite inputs that go into intensive agriculture – from fossil fuels and fertilisers to land and water. If we continue on this road there is only one way for prices to go – up.
Nor are farmers benefiting from price rises, as input costs are rising faster. In the developing world, many of the rural poor are farmers who are growing for export but are net buyers of food – and they are among the hardest hit.
Meanwhile, the ever increasing demand for meat and dairy is feeding a looming health and obesity crisis. Trying to produce more and more to feed increased demand for meat and dairy or biofuels can only benefit speculators and agribusinesses eyeing profits.
Western governments must regulate to stop excessive speculation in food commodities, overhaul factory farming of meat and dairy, rethink biofuel targets and allow countries to focus on producing food for domestic consumption using agro-ecological systems rather than commodities for export.
Campaigner, Friends of the Earth;
Executive Director, War on Want;
Head of Policy, World Development Movement;
Head of Policy, Soil Association;
Policy Advisor, Action Aidhttp://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f40fe2fe-b943-11df-99be-00144feabdc0.html