Brian Gardner's Blog

Archives for food prices

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

It is no surprise that a majority of EU government appear to be opposed to the European Commission’s proposal to limit the amount of food grains that may be used in biofuel production. Significantly, it was the central European member states that the recent Environment Ministers meeting demonstrated are most opposed to the Commission’s new… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The European Union’s biofuels policy is an outstanding example of the working out of the so-called ‘law’ of unintended consequences. At the time of the biofuels policy’s birth, the advantages of encouraging the conversion of food crops to ‘green’ fuel seemed obvious. In the mid-1990s Europe and the developed world generally were awash with surplus… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

The European Commission’s proposals to cut back on the biofuels section of its renewable energy policy is a wise move. In an atmosphere of undoubtedly increasing tension over global food security such policies operated without flexibility are inevitably going to be a political liability. To the politically simple-minded converting food and feed grains into motor… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

With world food commodity prices rising again on the prospect of poor harvests in some of the major grain producing areas of the world, it is inevitable that the price of food in the shops will rise. What is also inevitable is that if and when supplies improve and bulk commodity prices fall again retail… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner

Speculators and speculation were generally regarded as one of the dark forces driving up prices during the recent ‘food price crisis’. According to some consumer and farm groups, speculation, especially by index traders, was responsible for making an already bad situation worse. As drought and depleted stocks drove up the world market in the 2006-08… » read more

Posted by Brian Gardner