The rising cost of food has been the subject of more than one post on this blog in the past (See: “How the cost of food can make children less healthy” and multiple posts on Bloggers Unite for Human Rights day.), so I was disheartened last week to see a report about how world food prices were expected to be perhaps even more volatile over the coming decade.
The joint report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization contained grim news.
While the focus of the report was world-wide, naturally, it has ramifications all the way down to the most local level. For example:
Compared with the previous decade, the report said average prices from 2008-2017 for beef and pork will rise 20 percent; sugar around 30 percent; wheat, maize and skim-milk powder 40 to 60 percent; butter and oilseeds more than 60 percent; and vegetable oils over 80 percent.
Here’s some of the highlights from the report:
â€¢ Both consumption and production is growing faster in developing countries for all agricultural commodities except wheat. By 2017, these countries are expected to dominate trade in most farm products.
â€¢ High prices will be beneficial for many commercial farmers both in developed and developing countries. However, many farmers in developing countries are not linked to markets and are unlikely to benefit from the projected higher prices.
â€¢ Cereal markets are expected to remain tight as stocks are unlikely to return to the high levels of the past decade.
â€¢ Consumption of vegetable oils, both from oil seed crops and from palm, will grow faster than for other crops over the next 10 years. The rise is being driven both by demand for food and for biofuels.
â€¢ Brazilâ€™s share of world meat exports is expected to grow to 30 percent by 2017.
So, how have rising food costs been affecting you? Please respond below or e-mail me off the blog; I’d like to write a follow-up post regarding how people are dealing with the increased prices.
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