Global food price crisis

What are the implications for the right to food when food prices become volatile?


Food prices have been increasingly volatile since 2008, raising serious food availability concerns in developing countries. Securing the right to food means ensuring that people have access to adequate food at affordable prices, whatever the market conditions.

Mitigating the exposure of vulnerable populations to this volatility means avoiding excessive reliance on trade, and ensuring resilient local food production systems.

The Special Rapporteur has undertaken work on the underlying causes of volatile prices, and on solutions at the international and local level, particularly in the remit of G20 work on price volatility in 2011.

Read 26/06/2012: The SR commented on the Second Draft of the "Global Strategic Framework", which should guide the efforts of the Commitee on World Food Security (CFS) and its member States in the years to come.
Read 31/10/2011, Geneva: Key chance for G20 to tackle negative impacts of biofuels and speculation on human rights
Read The Common Agricultural Policy towards 2020: The role of the European Union in supporting the realization of the right to food, 17 June 2011.
Read Op-ed: Food Crises: 8 Priorities for the G20, Project Syndicate, 28 January 2011.
Read Background note: "Observations on the current food price situation", 21 January 2011.
Read Press release: In Rome, the Committee on World Food Security reinvents global governance, 21 October 2010.
Read “The 36th session as ‘Year 1’ of the reformed CFS: proposals for steps towards enhanced governance on food security, Contribution in advance of the 36th session of the Committee on World Food Security, 5 October 2010.
Read Food Commodities Speculation and Food Price Crises. Regulation to reduce the risks of price volatility, Briefing note by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, September 2010.
Read Op-ed: Millennium development goals need more emphasis on human rights", The Guardian, 21 September 2010.
Read Press release: "Food riots: Predictable crisis, unprepared governments, 7 September 2010.
Read Five proposals for a genuine integration of the right to food in the Revised Comprehensive Framework of Action (CFA) Contribution to the Dublin Consultation (17-18 May 2010), Olivier De Schutter, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the right to food, 10 April 2010.
Read Press statement: "UN Special Rapporteur on WTO Ministerial: Trade negotiations need to reflect the new global consensus on hunger", 1 December 2009.
Read “A Call for Coherence and Responsibility: Realizing the right to food by improving global governance Message of Mr. Olivier De Schutter, Special Rapporteur on the right to food, 6 November 2009
YouTube Message of the Special Rapporteur in advance of the World Summit on Food Security, 6 November 2009
Read Report 'Crisis into opportunity: reinforcing multilateralism' presented to the Human Rights Council, Follow-up session on the Global Food Crisis at the 12th session, 17 September 2009
Read Contribution of Mr. Olivier De Schutter, Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Contact Group to support the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), 22 May 2009
Read Contribution for the 17th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-17) The right to food and a sustainable global food system, 4-15 May 2009, New York, 4 May 2009
Read Statement at the interactive Thematic Dialogue of the UN General Assembly on the Global Food Crisis and the Right to Food, 6 April 2009
Read The Global partnership on agriculture and food: a response grounded in the human right to food, Statement ahead of the Madrid High-Level Meeting on Food Security for All, 6 January 2009
Read The 'Cordoba Declaration' on the right to food and the governance of the global food and agricultural system (10 December 2008)
Read Seminar report Solutions for hunger: a policy seminar on the right to food (7 November 2008, Ottawa, Canada)
Read Analysis by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food of the Comprehensive Framework for Action, adopted by the United Nations High-Level Task Force on Food Security, 23 June 2008
Read Statement at the High-Level Conference on World Food Security: The Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy, 6 June 2008
Read Analysis of the World Food Crisis by the U.N. Special Rapporteur, Olivier De Schutter, 2 May 2008