Reports and Campaigns

spotAbout the Socialist Party

spotAnti-capitalism

spotAnti-privatisation

spotAnti-war

spotElection campaigns

spotEnvironment

spotHealth

spotSocialist women

spotWorkplace

spotYouth and Students

All keywords


Health and welfare keywords:


Reports and campaigns:

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
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999