Brian Gardner's Blog

The basis of the case against the use of food crops in the production of biofuels is that it raises food prices and leads to environmental degradation in crop exporting third countries. This is the justification for the European Commission’s proposal to limit food crop utilisation in the production of biofuels. The proposal is that… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

Governments aiming to achieve greater food security are unlikely to achieve it through greater self-sufficiency in food production. In fact, pursuit of self-sufficiency is likely to be a major cause of global food insecurity. The risks of food shortages are likely to be greater if barriers are raised against food imports and there is greater… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The end of what might be described as the bad old common agricultural policy based on expensively rigged markets was recently marked by what should be the final removal of export subsidies on agricultural commodities. For over fifty years these subsidies have been a major mechanism for maintaining high farm prices in the European Union.… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The European Parliament’s somewhat frenzied concern about the possible indirect land use change (ILUC) resulting from EU biofuel policies is a splendid example of the phenomenon of unintended consequences. While acting on the basis of some pretty questionable science, the MEPs are constructing a new form of protectionism which is likely to damage the interests… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The increasing prosperity of the world’s largest concentration of people – China – is likely to put increasing pressure on the world’s food supply. With a population of more than 1.3 million, an annual economic growth rate of c. 7.5 per cent, and a growing middle class, China is going to increase substantially its demand… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner