Food Price Increases Increase

For once, the title’s not a typo. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Food And Agricultural Organization of the United Nations have revised up its estimates of how much food prices will increase over the coming decade. As reported by Javier Blas in the Financial Times:

In real terms, the report projected cereal prices to rise around 15-40 per cent relative to the 1997-2006 average, up from last year’s forecast of 10-20 per cent. Vegetable oils are expected to be more than 40 per cent higher, against last year’s forecast of a 30 per cent increase. Meat and dairy products will also be more expensive in the next decade, reversing last year’s forecast that pointed to lower prices.

Remember, though, these are merely trends. On top of these trends come variability. More food price spikes and troughs. And which profession will make money from this increased variability? Fred Kaufman, in a terrific cover article for next month’s Harpers, will tell more. But here’s a hint: it rhymes with wanker.