UK summit tackles spiralling food prices

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 24th April 2008

A summit, headed by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, has discussed concerns about rising global food prices. The summit was attended by 25 experts including UN World Food Program Chief Josette Sheeran, African Development Bank Chief Donald Kaberuka, the UK’s chief scientist and environmental and international development ministers.

A number of issues were discussed to ensure short-term and long-term solutions were created.

Several policy changes were mooted, including: Greater work within the G8 to provide international support of agriculture in the world’s poorest countries, a review of the UK’s commitment to biofuels, work towards a successful deal with the WTO which will improve trading capacity of poorer countries and attempt to improve the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy to reduce agricultural tariffs.

Gordon Brown indicated his concern about global food prices and believes changes to policy are needed to negate the issue. “At the moment we’re hearing a lot about the world financial crisis, and rightly so. But there’s another world crisis underway, a world food crisis that threatens to roll back progress made in recent years to lift millions of people out of poverty and, through increased inflation, affect us all,” he said.

“I want to see an agricultural revolution that helps poor farmers in developing countries to grow more and we need to ensure more of the food they produce gets to market rather than being left to rot, as more than half is at present,” he added.