Reports and Campaigns

spotAbout the Socialist Party




spotElection campaigns



spotSocialist women


spotYouth and Students

All keywords

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Health and welfare keywords:

Agribusiness (9)

AIDS (15)

Autism (2)

Autistics (1)

Bullying (51)

Ebola (8)

Foot and mouth disease (7)

HIV (10)

HIV-positive (1)

Measles (1)

Parents (118)

Prison (88)

Prisons (38)

Psychiatric (10)

vCJD (2)

Reports and campaigns:

Anti-capitalism (1248)

Anti-fascist (562)

Anti-racism (705)

Anti-war (1498)

Asylum (213)

Black and Asian (395)

Children (385)

CNWP (108)

Corporate crime (2)

Disability (202)

Education (3950)

Election campaigns (2466)

Environment (610)

EU (452)

Finance (101)

Food (270)

Health and safety (35)

Health and welfare (317)

Housing (1049)

Human Rights (383)

LGBT Pride (143)

Local government (2195)

Local services (3677)

Low pay (513)

Migration (57)

Nationalisation (147)

New workers party (470)

NHS (1854)

Pensions (704)

Post Office (222)

Poverty (579)

Privatisation (1025)

Public Services (1143)

Socialism (878)

Socialist (43)

Sport (197)

Stop the slaughter of Tamils (92)

Students (1843)

The state (1373)

Transport (557)

TUSC (999)

Welfare rights (720)

Women (769)

Workplace and TU campaigns (8307)

Youth (1978)

Related websites

Youth Fight For Jobs

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

National Shop Stewards Network

Tamil Solidarity

Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 648, 23 November 2010: Youth Fight for Education: No cuts, no fees, save EMA!

Search site for keywords: Food - International - Global - Agribusiness

Massive food price hikes spell disaster for poorest people

THE FINANCIAL speculators and hedge funds that so spectacularly contributed to the financial crisis resulting in the 'Great Recession' have now turned their attention to the international food market with devastating consequences.

John Sharpe

These spivs are now trading heavily in the futures markets in food, speculating on prices and causing extreme volatility.

The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation reported: "Rarely have markets exhibited this level of uncertainty and sudden turns in such a brief period of time. World cereal production this year, which is currently put at 2,216 million tonnes, is 2% below 2009 levels, 63 million tonnes less than the forecast reported in June."

The UN has warned that food prices could rise by 10-20% next year after poor harvests and an expected rundown of global reserves. More than 70 African and Asian countries will be the worst hit.

Combined with the heatwave and fires in Russia and the floods in Pakistan, this has resulted in the prices of wheat, maize and many other foods traded internationally rising by up to 40% in just a few months.

Sugar, butter and cassava prices are at 30-year highs, and meat and fish are both significantly more expensive than last year.

Larry Elliot in the Guardian has argued that these massive increases are also due to speculators buying up farms in poor countries to profit from China's increasing reliance on imported food. This in turn increases poor countries' reliance on expensive imported food.

International food import bills could pass the $1 trillion mark and the speculators cannot resist getting their noses into a trough that size.

The 2007/08 food crisis saw food riots in more than 25 countries and 100 million extra hungry people. The UN fears similar for next year.

As Lester Brown, founder of the Washington-based Worldwatch Institute, pointed out: "The poorest will suffer the most because they feel the effect of price rises directly".

With one and a half billion people globally struggling to get by on between $1 and $2 a day, capitalism has nothing to offer them - not even enough food in their bellies.

But while the world's poorest people are suffering, big business is enjoying a profits bonanza in global agriculture and its associated trade. In the advanced capitalist countries working people are also increasingly struggling with rising food prices.

Socialist nationalisation of the agribusiness multinationals and a democratically run, international plan of food production represents the only way forward for the poor and the working people of the world.

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Related links:


triangleWe're freezing: reverse cuts to boiler replacement schemes!

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleFood processing workers vote for action against miserly bosses

triangleMagic money tree


triangleAustria: Success In Defending Women's Right To Abortion

triangleOrganise the fightback - from Tahrir Square to Wisconsin

triangleLibya: no to western military intervention


triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

triangleCarbon dioxide hits 800,000-year high: end profit-driven pollution

triangleSE London Socialist Students & Socialist Party: Global warming - A global threat


triangleWhat would a socialist food industry look like?

triangleThe Socialist Inbox