Considering that the food and drink industry runs on food, few issues are more vital than food prices. The recent food price spike, the second of its kind in the last three years, has sparked a fair amount of concern – and a new report from Oxfam indicates that this most recent rise in the cost of food is not the end by a long shot.
On Tuesday, Oxfam America released a report predicting that the demand for food could grow by 70 to 90 percent by the year 2050, while at the same time noting that our capacity for producing quality food is declining due to factors like climate change, massive population growth, and misplaced prioritizing of viable food toward biofuels. As a result, the cost of food staples like corn – already at an all-time high – could double within the next twenty years. The Oxfam report warns that people in third world countries will be hit especially hard by rising food prices.
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The report, entitled Growing a Better Future, is an introduction to Oxfam America’s GROW campaign which launches today and details not just problems that the world is facing, but a five point plan of action suggested by Oxfam America to the US government in order to keep an impending food crisis at bay. These actions include investing in smaller scale food producers, ending speculation of food commodities, and putting the corn-ethanol industry on hold.
“We are fighting both sides of the war on hunger,” said Oxfam America president Raymond C. Offenheiser. “US policies are making it more difficult for the small farmers, who grow much of the world’s food, to have enough to feed their own families. With sensible reforms to increase productivity and resilience of small farmers around the world, we can GROW a better future that holds greater economic prosperity, national security, and a more stable food supply for everyone for generations to come.”