Food Insecurity and the Issue of Global Price Volatility: A Reflexive Outline on Proposed Policies in the CFS 37th Summit of FAO

By Juan José Borrell.

Published by Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Food and agriculture’s volatile prices create uncertainty and risk for producers, traders, consumers and governments, and can have extensive negative impacts on the agricultural sector, food security, and the economy in both developed and developing countries. The Organization for Food and Agriculture of the United Nations (FAO) poses that price volatility has its main negative impact in food security, i.e. it substantially limits the economic access of people to a secure and sustained provision of food. After the sharp price surge of 2007–2008, agricultural commodity prices have experienced considerable volatility and along with other factors, collaborated to raise the sum of undernourished people to more than 1,000 million around the world. The recent volatility of agriculture commodity prices that started again in 2010 is now considered a global matter that needs addressing, and as such, was specially featured in the last G20 summit in November 2011. According to FAO specialists in the 37th CFS summit, the drivers behind the volatility trend may continue in the long-term, thus posing further uncertainty. The proposed global policies may help to cope with this issue in the short-term, but over the long run another set of significant measures will be needed to definitely tackle to food insecurity. This paper aims to sketch a critical frame to analyze those policies.

Keywords: Food Security, Price Volatility, Policies, United Nations, Organization for Food and Agriculture, Geopolitics

Food Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.25-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.248MB).

Prof. Juan José Borrell

Professor and Researcher, Grupo Interdisciplinario en Seguridad Alimentaria, Centro de Estudios Interdisciplinarios, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Rosario, Argentina

He holds a Master degree in Strategy and Geopolitics (ESG-IESE), and his doctoral research topic is about the geopolitical implications of the global competition for natural resources and the food supply system. He works as professor at Universidad Nacional de Rosario (UNR), Argentina, and at Universidad Tecnológica Nacional (UTN). Member of the GISA (Grupo Interdisciplinario en Seguridad Alimentaria) UNR, he participated as adviser in the official delegation of Argentina at the food security world summit of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2011.