Oxfam reaction to speeches made by Presidents Sarkozy and Barroso at today’s EC conference on commodities and raw materials

French President Sarkozy and European Commission President Barroso spoke at today’s conference on commodities and raw materials in Brussels, organized by the European Commission ahead of next week’s meeting of G20 Agriculture Ministers in France. 

Luc Lamprière, Director of Oxfam France, said:

“President Sarkozy has once again called for the need to regulate commodity markets. But to make these markets work for food producers and consumers, action is needed now. Yet just a week ahead of the G20 meeting of Agriculture Ministers, concrete measures are missing.” 

"The Commission President Barroso seems unable to understand what is at stake here. Financial speculation threatens the right to food for hundreds of millions of people in developing countries who are extremely vulnerable to sudden price changes in global markets.” 

“The European Commission must raise the bar by putting on the table firm proposals that guarantee maximum transparency in European financial markets and prevent excessive commodity speculation.” 

International development agency Oxfam is calling on the European Union to kick-start the transformation to a fairer more sustainable food system by reforming legislation at home and driving the agenda of the G20 and other key international fora. Europe must take action without delay. It must:  

  • regulate commodity markets which are driving food price volatility and tackle excessive speculation;
  • put an end to the biofuels mandates and subsidies that fuel food price volatility and land grabs in developing countries;
  • invest in the 500 million small-scale food producers in poor countries who feed nearly one-third of humanity;
  • lead in the fight against climate change and its impacts on global food production.

For more information: Oxfam briefing note: ‘Averting Tomorrow's Global Food Crisis: The European Union's role in delivering food justice in a resource-constrained world’.

Contact information: 

To speak with Oxfam's spokespeople present at today’s conference, please contact Angela Corbalan on +32 473 56 22 60 or angela.corbalan@oxfaminternational.org