Ministerial meeting on food price volatility - Oxfam reaction

Published: 16th October 2012

A ministerial meeting on volatile food prices has taken place today in Rome, alongside the annual meeting of the UN Committee on World Food Security. The meeting follows the cancellation of a Rapid Response Forum with G20 agriculture ministers - announced on 17 September by French president François Hollande and Fao Director-General – and ruled out by the US on 1st October.

Thierry Kesteloot, Oxfam’s GROW campaign advisor, said:  

“The meeting is a last-ditch effort to encourage the international community to address the critical issue of volatile food prices. The daunting truth is that G20 countries have failed to call a Rapid Response Forum meeting or to calm markets shaken by extreme weather events. 

“Governments must break the stalemate and act quickly to address the root causes and devastating impacts of food price volatility. They must stop biofuels mandates, boost food reserves and invest in sustainable and resilient small holder agriculture.

“Ministers meeting at the Committee on World Food Security should give a clear steer to governments that the priority must be to protect the poorest members of society who spend up to three quarters of their income on food.

“The Committee on World Food Security should also take ambitious action on climate change consistent with the goal of eliminating hunger. Long term problems need long term solutions and we have seen none so far.”

Related links

Case studies: Today's rising food prices will trap millions tomorrow

Contact information

Oxfam spokespeople are available for interview in English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish at the CFS Annual Meeting.

For interviews or further information, please contact Gabriele Carchella on +39 320 4777 895