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Newsletter no 4 - Food price volatility and Food markets

Wednesday 2 April 2014, by Manu

A new food price crisis: the time has come to put people at the centre of the food system!
Chronic, persistent and increasing hunger levels. Rising demand on top of a collapsing
resource base. Unsustainable consumption patterns and waste. Feedstocks diverted
from food to fuel. Extreme vulnerability. Climate chaos. Political unrest and food riots.
Markets rigged against the many in favour of the few. Spiralling food prices... The dominant
food system is not delivering. This is because it is a food system moulded
by a market where purchasing power is more important than rights, where food,
land, and water and other resources have been restricted to a mere commodity. It
is a system where the power to decide who produces what, how, for whom or by whom
is concentrated in a handful of companies, and where public policies to regulate agricultural
or financial markets have been largely dismantled. This system today is colliding
with inherent limits. It traps a billion producers and consumers in poverty and fails to address
the ecological boundaries of a flawed food system. Inequalities are increasing, and
peoples are excluded from their fundamental rights. In the midst of a second severe food
price crisis in three years, some governments have lost confidence in the capacity of international
markets to deliver their needed food. The international community is forced to
address the problem. But it still fails to recognise the main causes of the persistent crisis
and to develop coordinated and coherent responses that go beyond the defence of short
term interests. The time has come to put people at the centre of the food system. In
that system the supply of food is accomplished by agro-ecological, resilient, small-holder
farming, producing sufficient and accessible food for all. Policies need to be grounded
in the right to food and food sovereignty to deliver on food, nutritional and ecological
security. Small food producers and civil society organisations call for the needed radical
changes by mobilising forces and contributing to the debate for transformed policies at
national and international levels.
Thierry Kesteloot, Oxfam-Solidarity

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Nyéléni newsletter no 4

- Food price volatility and Food markets