Food Prices on agenda at G20 Agriculture Ministers Summit

The Green Party of Canada is  calling on Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz to show real leadership at the  upcoming G20 Agriculture Meetings in Paris by supporting efforts to stabilize  the price of food.  “There are a staggering number of malnourished people  globally. The world’s richest countries have a moral duty to do all we can to  rectify this situation,” said Green Leader Elizabeth  May.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports that almost a billion  people are going hungry, 13.6% of the world’s population, due to neglect of  agriculture, the economic crisis, and the increase in food prices, exacerbated  by climate change.

“The G20 Agriculture Minister’ meeting is an excellent  chance to coordinate regulatory changes so that we can get a grip on food price  volatility,” said May.  “We must improve our systems of producing food,  including moving toward small scale farming that takes into account soil health  and water protection.  Climate change must be front and centre, as we will only  see further negative impacts on food production due to the climate  crisis.

The Greens are supporting Oxfam’s efforts convincing Canada  to get behind proposed measures to stabilize food prices  including:

  • Establishing regional emergency reserves of  food,
  • Publishing information on actual and forecasted food  stocks,
  • Improving regulation of commodity futures markets,  and
  • Preventing food crops being used to produce  biofuel.

Oxfam reports that while Canadians spend on average about 10%  of their income on food, a family in a developing country could spent as much as  80% of their income on food.

“Access to food and fair distribution of food to people in  poverty is critical to global security,” said Elizabeth May. “Canada needs to  take a lead.”