U.N. Food Chief: G20 must act on worries around rising food prices

The head of the U.N.’s food agency has called on the Group of 20 nations to coordinate action and address rising global food prices as concerns grow that we are headed towards another food crisis.

Between 85 and 95 percent of the crops most affected by the rises – wheat and corn – are produced by the G20 countries.

U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization Director-General Jose Graziano Da Silva has been careful to state that the current rises are not a crisis, however he warns that it could reach that level if upcoming harvests in the southern hemisphere were disappointing.

These warnings and concerns come as Australia continues to debate the future and sustainability of our current agriculture practices and our role in supplying food for other nations, particularly South-East Asia.

Da Silva also noted that current price rises are not as critical as during 2007/08, when price rises resulted in violent protests and conflicts in countries including Egypt, Camaroon and Haiti.

"There is no crisis," he told Reuters. "This kind of panic buying is what we need to avoid at the moment."

Da Silva and other experts at the conference said that there was also a massive waste of food in the world, an issue that needed to be resolved in order better to harness resources.

Reports coming out the US last week stated that Americans waste as much as 40% of their food each year, leading to calls for greater action to prevent food waste.


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