Global Conference 2011
The New Economics of Food
Tuesday, May 3, 2011 / 8:00 am - 9:15 am
The price of wheat has surged to its highest level since the summer of 2008. And that's not all: Prices for rice, corn, soybeans, sugar and coffee are also soaring, creating a tremendous burden on the poorest households worldwide. Protests and riots have already broken out in Algeria, Jordan, Egypt and India. Here in the U.S., consumer prices are only ticking up, and companies are struggling to adjust to higher raw material costs. Whether the price hikes are due to a catastrophic string of floods and droughts that damaged harvests or to rising energy costs and speculation, one thing is clear: Their impact on food insecurity around the world is significant. How can communities overcome the burden of price increases? Will world governments respond by hoarding food stocks and banning exports, exacerbating shortages? What role can agricultural firms and commodities markets play? As individuals and families face hunger in the midst of the economic downturn, how can corporations and philanthropies bridge the gap to meet their immediate needs as well as addressing longer-term solutions? How can we smooth the flow of funding and aid in light of the price spikes? This panel will take a look at the ongoing solutions needed to feed the world.