NEW YORK, Oct. 9, 2014 –Reports from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations about falling food prices worldwide are good news for the hundreds of millions of impoverished people worldwide who struggle to purchase food for their households.
The positive downward trend is a result of good harvests and ample stockpiles, according to the latest edition of FAO’s biannual Food Outlook report and a new update to the organization’s monthly Food Price Index, released today.
“High food prices mean less food and more hunger. The fact that prices are decreasing means that more people will be able to buy more food for their families and that is a good thing,” said the Rev. John L. McCullough, president and CEO of hunger-fighting agency Church World Service.
The report cites bumper harvests and abundant stockpiles as key factors helping to drive down international cereal prices. On the production side, wheat and coarse grains are reported near record levels, while meat production is expected to grow moderately, though not enough to offset current high prices, according to FAO.
“We find the currents trend of declining prices for many commodities encouraging,” said McCullough, “especially against a backdrop of upsets to food markets because of disasters such as the Ebola outbreak and drought conditions in some regions.
McCullough emphasized, however, that the good news about lower food prices and higher production should not lead to any slowdown in efforts by CWS and other humanitarian agencies to end hunger in poor communities by providing tools, training and resources to increase local food production.
CWS addresses hunger and malnutrition in a number of ways, including support for food cooperatives, establishment of kitchen gardens, feeding programs and advocacy to empower indigenous communities to reclaim lands needed for food production.
“This month’s price declines are most welcome, but food still is too expensive for many. CWS will continue working with people in impoverished communities to develop sustainable means of increasing both their food security and their resilience in the face of disaster, natural and human-made.”