July 26, 2012
Another Global Food Crisis in the Making?
Chatham House, Chatham House
The worst drought to hit the USA in over half a century has sent international food prices climbing again. Prices for corn and soybeans (the USA is the world’s biggest producer of both) last week passed the peaks they reached during the 2007/8 global food crisis which saw riots in over 30 countries, the number of hungry pass 1 billion, and the humanitarian system overwhelmed by spiralling demand for food aid. Things are not yet this bad. First, corn and soybeans are not the most important commodities for poor households, which typically depend more on rice and wheat (for bread). For this reason, the impacts of the current spike on hunger and poverty are likely to be limited. Instead, richer consumers will feel the pinch first: corn and soybeans are typically used in animal feed...