Grain Trader Calls Food Self Sufficiency Efforts "Nonsense"
The Wheeler-Evans Grain Elevator in Groom, Texas. Image credit:TexasScapes., Noel Kerns
No way a transnational company like Cargill feels its markets are threatened by the US locavore movement. How, though, do we explain a top executive at the Maryland-based grain trader stating that the notion that countries "can be self-sufficient in every single food is a nonsense". (so quoted in Financial Times) That's more of a food hyperbole than a logical argument against self sufficiency efforts. Self sufficiency politics represent a push-back against government incentives for bio-fuel production, which trade fuel-insecurity for food-insecurity.
Efforts by Asian business and government to buy and control overseas farm land and water resources are different: it is the end game choice after overpopulation, water pollution, and soil erosion from poor land management have taken their toll.Export tariffs are not a sustainable solution, I'd agree. Export bans to avert local price spikes driven by world market demand peaks are probably what he is really concerned with.
Who gets the microphone?
It would be better if experts without direct financial interest would be more prominently quoted. Probably too much to hope for, given the recent history of corporate backed voices sowing confusion about climate science.
The warning by the world's largest trader of agricultural commodities comes ahead of the UN World Summit on Food Security in Rome, the first since 2002. The summit was prompted by the surge in the price of staples such as rice and wheat, which last year hit record highs, sparking food riots in countries from Bangladesh to Haiti.
More posts on food security.
The Copenhagen Conference on Food Security :
Hillary Clinton Announces Obama's New Global Food Security