As the UK and other governments meet in Rome for crisis talks on food prices, the latest edition of Food Ethics magazine urges governments to tackle the injustice at the heart of the crisis and not to use food concerns as a vehicle to push through other ambitions.
The collection has contributions from global figures including Jacques Diouf (Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation), Josette Sheeran (Chief Executive of the World Food Programme) and Lester K Brown (President of the Earth Policy Institute).
“The crisis is an opportunity to advance all sorts of vested interests, but we mustn’t mistake opportunities for solutions,” says FEC Executive Director Dr Tom MacMillan. “Solving this crisis is fundamentally about fair shares, not simply about producing more food, cutting costs or freeing up global trade. Even when food prices were lower, and supply and demand seemed in balance, 860 million people went hungry and almost 3 billion malnourished. The Rome talks mustn’t get side-tracked from that fact.”
Contributors to the magazine sound the alarm on false solutions including a free trade free-for-all; a ‘green revolution’ for Africa; policies to boost productivity; and lowering standards. Priorities to improve food security and tackle hunger include improving social welfare through well-targeted social protection programmes, focusing agricultural development efforts on marginal producers and rebuilding public stocks. As higher prices put governments under pressure to lower standards, they also need to ensure that their policies are strong enough to prevent the harmful exploitation of workers, farm animals and the environment.
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Rising food prices | Alex Evans
Déjà vu? | Steve Wiggins
Is food still too cheap? | Jim Sumberg
The big question
Why do high food prices matter? | Jacques Diouf | Lester K Brown | Josette Sheeran | Carl Atkin | Joachim von Braun | Patrick Krause | Sarath Fernando | Adam Drenowski | Chris Brown | Lisa Wilson | Richard Longthorp
How are governments and the supply chain responding? | James Walton
The impact of rising food prices on Sri Lanka | Sarath Fernando
Food prices: what are they? | Christopher Ritson
Sub-prime to feed wheat | Peter Melchett
Reframing UK food security | David Barling
Food security is a question of quality as well as quantity | Michiel Korthals
Is the environment another loser from high food commodity prices? | Bill Vorley
Will free trade solve the food crisis? | Sophia Murphy
Price rises could boost animal welfare | Roland Bonney
Are there any scouts out there? | Daryll E Ray and Harwood Schaffer
Towards a new world food programme? | Edward Clay
Food at any price is not sustainable | Patrick Mulvaney
Childhood malnutrition is a medical emergency | Tido von Schoen-Angerer
Future farming | Nick Snelgar
From the editor
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