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Food price volatility: international policy responses


By dxw

Volatility in food prices has returned to the headlines and remains a key challenge facing the global food system. It will also be a major theme at the G20 meeting in May 2011.


Global food and agriculture: policy options in response to increased volatility

Monday 11 – Wednesday 13 April 2011 (WP1081)

The first in a series of events and part of the new Programme: ‘Agriculture, Food and Land Use: The International Policy Challenge’, our forthcoming conference on global food and agriculture will explore the issue of volatility, its links to global food security, and policy options in different parts of the world.

Volatility has received much attention from governments, policymakers, academics and the media since the food price spikes in 2007/08. It was recently identified as one of five key challenges facing the global food system by the UK Foresight Report. It will also be a theme at the G20 meeting in May 2011.

The conference provides the perfect opportunity to hear a variety of international perspectives on the causes and effects of volatility, and its connections with factors outside the food system.

The opening session will consider the ramifications of the 2007/08 and 2010/11 food price rises, along with new pressures on the food system and their implications for international policy. Subsequent sessions will examine whether current international frameworks are equipped to address the challenges ahead; the ongoing relevance of the Doha Round; the role of agricultural commodity speculation; the management of risk; the effects of export restrictions; and trade policy options, including those to protect vulnerable groups in low-income countries.

Farm policies in high-income countries and the impacts of biofuel production will also be subjects for debate.

Speakers have been drawn from a range of sectors and countries and include:

  • Charles Godfray – Chair, Lead Expert Group, Foresight report on Global Food and Farming
  • Manuel Aranda da Silva – Director (AI) Policy, Planning and Strategy Division, World Food Programme
  • Sheryl Hendriks – Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development, University of Pretoria
  • Raul Montemayor – President, Federation of Free Farmers Co-operatives
  • Hidenori Murakami – International Policy Advisor, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
  • Peter Kendall – President, National Farmers Union


Further information

Conference on Global food and agriculture: policy options in response to increased volatility

Conference on How to Balance Food Security with Sustainability of Agricultural Production