Looking back, peering forward: what has been learned from the food-price spike of 2007–2008?

Briefing papers
July 2013
Steve Wiggins and Sharada Keats

The spike in prices of cereals on world markets in 2007-2008 was as unwelcome as it was unexpected. For poor and vulnerable people it meant hardship as the costs of cereals in many parts of the developing world rose sharply.

It is now five years since the price spike. What lessons have been learned, what can we expect for food prices in the future, and what are the policy implications? This ODI Briefing and longer research report summarises current understanding, focusing on insights that have emerged in subsequent years to modify earlier thinking about the price spike.