A United Nations index of world food prices jumped to a record last month, contributing to riots across northern Africa and the Middle East that already toppled leaders in Egypt and Tunisia. Global food security is threatened by “excessive price volatility and speculation,” farm ministers from 48 countries said in a joint statement after meeting in Berlin in January.
“There’s a tremendous shortage of food, there’s a tremendous shortage of arable land,” Smith said in interview in London. “Any kind of food products are going to increase.”
Coffee jumped more than fivefold in the two years through July 1994 and more than tripled from February 2002 to March 2005. Sugar prices rose fourfold from June 2002 to February 2006 and more than tripled from June 2007 to February last year. Cocoa advanced 242 percent from December 2000 to January 2003.