Fix these structural flaws to prevent the next global food price crisis, report advises


Samantha Oller, FoodDive 

May 6, 2022


Dive Brief:


·         The third global food price crisis in 15 years, triggered by the Ukraine invasion, could have been avoided if structural flaws in the system had been addressed after the previous two, according to a report by IPES-Food.

·         These fundamental weaknesses include a lack of crop and dietary diversity, with an overreliance on staples like corn, wheat and rice; opaque and speculation-prone grain markets that don’t reflect real-world supply; and cycles of food insecurity driven by conflict, climate change and poverty.

·         The report calls on world leaders to improve market transparency and expand people’s diets to include a greater variety of foods and more resilient crops.


Dive Insight:


Record-high prices for wheat, corn, soybeans and rice. Export bans by key food producing countries. What were hallmarks of the 2007-2008 global food crisis have returned in yet another inflationary event, this time triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And they will arise again unless the world addresses fundamental flaws in the global food system, argues the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems, a Belgium-based group of thought leaders from 16 countries.


In its report, IPES-Food notes the world’s reliance on a limited number of staples has not eased since the issue was exposed in earlier crises. By 1995, wheat, rice and corn made up more than 50% of global plant-derived food energy, according to the group, despite being only three out of 7,000 plants that humans eat...


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