Resolving the food crisis: assessing global policy reforms since 2007

The spikes in global food prices in 2007-8 served as a wake-up call to the global community on the inadequacies of our global food system. Commodity prices doubled, the estimated number of hungry people topped one billion, and food riots spread through the developing world. A second price spike in 2010-11, which drove the global food import bill for 2011 to an estimated $1.3 trillion, only deepened the sense that the policies and principles guiding agricultural development and food security were deeply flawed. How well has the international community responded to these challenges? In this policy report from the Global Development and Environment Institute and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Timothy A. Wise and Sophia Murphy argue that the recent crisis has been a catalyst for important policy reforms, but they conclude that governments have yet to address its underlying causes. They warn that the international community is avoiding deeper structural reforms, leaving the world at risk of another devastating spike in global food prices.