High world food prices

November 2008 to March 2012

The latest global food price spike which peaked in mid 2008 put the issue of staple food price volatility and its impacts on impoverished people’s ability to access reliably adequate food in the spotlight—particularly given the vast majority of poor people, including subsistence farmers, are net buyers of food.

How do events like this impact on the livelihoods of vulnerable groups in developing countries? What actions should or should not be taken by governments in developed and developing nations in response?

Our research looks at short, medium, and long-term drivers of the crisis, as well as how it was transmitted from world markets to poor households, at the coping strategies adopted by individuals, the policy responses of governments, and the mitigating actions taken by civil society, humanitarian groups, and international agencies. We welcome engagement with other organisations working in this area.

Key publications to look for over the next several months include a synthesis study of impacts on the vulnerable, a study on transmission of international prices to the domestic level, a study on effectiveness of responses taken by individuals, governments, international agencies, and civil society groups in the wake of the crisis, and a look back at the underlying causes.  

Objectives

The aim of this programme will be to:

  • Improve understanding of the causes, consequences, and remedial policy options of the sharp rise in world food prices seen since 2007;
  • Contribute to public policy debates concerning the rise in food prices; and to,
  • Provide evidence and analysis to assist DFID’s Food Team, Policy Division, as well as other parts of DFID including country offices.

Activities and proposed programme of work

The objectives will be met by three sets of activities: a planned programme of studies; additional studies that respond to the needs of DFID as and when they arise; and communications and dissemination.

Outputs

Food prices update February 2012

Research reports and studies | February 2012 | Steve Wiggins and Sharada Keats
February 2011: ODI’s Food prices updates focus on tracking international prices of key staple cereals maize, rice, and wheat, and provide commentary on events in markets that affect these prices. They also follow international food and commodity price indices. Each...
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Food prices update January 2012

Research reports and studies | January 2012 | Steve Wiggins and Sharada Keats
January 2012: ODI’s Food Price Updates focus on tracking international prices of key staple cereals maize, rice, and wheat, and provide commentary on events in markets that affect these prices. They also follow international food and commodity price indices. Each...
Download

Food prices update November 2011

Research reports and studies | November 2011 | Steve Wiggins and Sharada Keats
November 2011: ODI’s Food prices update focus on tracking international prices of key staple cereals maize, rice, and wheat, and provide commentary on events in markets that affect these prices. They also follow international food and commodity price indices. Each...
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Food Prices – is the only way up?

Comment | 18 October 2011 | Steve Wiggins, Andrew Norton and Anna Locke
This blog provides an overview of a roundtable event that brought together key people involved in the food prices agenda to understand the differences in projections of food prices that have emerged over recent months and possible policy responses to this.
Read and comment

Food price dynamics: Where to now?

Round-table | 7 October 2011 01:30 - 17:30 GMT+01 (BST)

Where are prices of cereals headed over the next ten years? And what does this imply for policy?


These questions were addressed at a workshop with presentations from Merritt Cluff of FAO, Dirk Willenbockel from IDS and Chris Gilbert from...
Watch

Food prices update September 2011

Research reports and studies | September 2011 | Steve Wiggins and Sharada Keats
September 2011: ODI’s Food Price Updates focus on tracking international prices of key staple cereals maize, rice, and wheat, and provide commentary on events in markets that affect these prices. They also follow international food and commodity price indices. Each...
Download

Food prices update August 2011

Research reports and studies | August 2011 | Steve Wiggins and Sharada Keats
August 2011: ODI’s Food Price Updates focus on tracking international prices of key staple cereals maize, rice, and wheat, and provide commentary on events in markets that affect these prices. They also follow international food and commodity price indices. Each...
Download

Food prices update July 2011

Research reports and studies | July 2011 | Steve Wiggins and Sharada Keats
July 2011: ODI’s Food Price Updates focus on tracking international prices of key staple cereals maize, rice, and wheat, and provide commentary on events in markets that affect these prices. They also follow international food and commodity price indices. Each edition...
Download

Food prices update June 2011

Research reports and studies | June 2011 | Steve Wiggins and Sharada Keats
June 2011: ODI’s Food prices updates focus on tracking international prices of key staple cereals maize, rice, and wheat, and provide commentary on events in markets that affect these prices. They also follow international food and commodity price indices. Each edition...
Download

Food prices update May 2011

Research reports and studies | May 2011 | Steve Wiggins and Sharada Keats
May 2011: ODI’s Food prices updates focus on tracking international prices of key staple cereals maize, rice, and wheat, and provide commentary on events in markets that affect these prices. They also follow international food and commodity price indices. Each edition...
Download

Food prices update April 2011

Research reports and studies | April 2011 | Steve Wiggins and Sharada Keats
April 2011: ODI’s Food prices updates focus on tracking international prices of key staple cereals maize, rice, and wheat, and provide commentary on events in markets that affect these prices. They also follow international food and commodity price indices. Each...
Download

Food Price Crisis Frequently Asked Questions

Working and discussion papers | October 2010 | Steve Wiggins, Julia Compton and Sharada Keats

The issue of rising food prices came to international attention in early 2008. This document answers the following questions about the crisis and responses to it.

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Grain stocks and price spikes

Research reports and studies | January 2010 | Steve Wiggins and Sharada Keats
This paper reviews the role stocks played in the 2007/08 spike in world food prices and their potential for mitigating future food price volatility. It reviews available information on cereals stocks internationally and considers the role of stocks in the formation of...
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Rising food prices: A global crisis

Briefing papers | April 2008 | Steve Wiggins and Stephanie Levy

This Briefing Paper examines the causes of rising food prices, expected trends, the likely impact, and possible policy responses.

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