Oxfam reaction to FAO Price Index up by 6% in July

Published: 9th August 2012

Oxfam spokesperson Colin Roche said:

“This is not some gentle monthly wake-up call – it’s the same global alarm that’s been screaming at us since 2008. These new figures prove that the world’s food system cannot cope on crumbling foundations. The combination of rising prices and expected low reserves means the world is facing a double danger.

World leaders must snap out of their lazy complacency and realise the time of cheap food has long gone. Without action millions more people are in danger of joining the billion who are already hungry. The G20 has the tools to tackle the causes of spiking and volatile food prices and food insecurity today and into the future. It needs to do so, now.

They must reverse decades of under-investment into small-holder agriculture. The US and EU must ditch their crazy biofuels programs that turn 40% of US corn, for example, into gas for cars and trucks. We must tackle the causes and effects of climate change that will eventually, without action, overwhelm our food system entirely.

These price hikes are being driven by more than just a drought in the US corn-belt and problem harvests elsewhere. As bad as they are, our food system should be more resilient than this. Today’s FAO food price index is an ECG of a very sick patient.”

Related links

FAO Food Price Index up 6 percent

Oxfam's analysis of 2012 global food price rises (pdf 237kb)

Blog: The ABCDs of the global grain trade

Contact information

Matt Grainger
Oxfam International, Head of Media
+44-1865-339128 or matt.grainger@oxfaminternational.org