It’s annoying isn’t it? You pop out for a loaf of bread and it’s suddenly gone up to £1.50. Wasn’t it a £1 or something not so long ago? Oh well, toast and tea beckon. You stump up the cash and head home.
Not so easy in Kenya where poor families are being affected by the same huge price rises and the choice isn’t between granary or farmhouse white, but between breakfast or sending the kids to school.
So what’s going on? We keep hearing about bad weather and the impact it has on poor harvests, which translates into food shortages. What we don’t hear about so much are the dodgy deals that are pushing up food prices.
Since 2010 more than 44 million people have been driven into extreme poverty by the rising cost of food. At the same time, banks and financial investors are, quite literally making a killing by betting on food prices. The World Development Movement (WDM) estimates that Barclays makes up to £340 million each year through unregulated speculation in food markets, as people starve.
That’s the bad news. The good news is it’s easy to do something.
If you want to make change, legislation is going through the EU right now that can effectively control this greed. Go to http://www.wdm.org.uk/food-speculation for more information on food speculation and to lend them your voice.