Food prices to stay high for a decade
The era of cheap and plentiful food was declared at an end yesterday as a keyinternational report issued a warning that high world food prices willcontinue for at least a decade.
Much bigger family food bills will remain an everyday fact of life forconsumers across the West, while for poor nations permanently dearer foodwill spell widespread hunger, famine and civil conflict, the study from theOrganisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the UN Food andAgriculture Organisation said.
The report said that after soaring in the past year to record levels, foodprices should fall back. But it added that the cost of everything from grainto meat and dairy products will remain stuck “substantially above” theaverage levels of the past ten years.
As ministers and officials from around the globe prepare for a world foodsummit in Rome next week, Angel Gurria, the OECD’s Secretary-General, saidthat prices should ease gradually, but “most agricultural commodity pricesover the next ten years will still exceed the average of the previous decadeby 10 to 50 per cent”.