The Challenge of Food Security

The Challenge of Food Security

International Policy and Regulatory Frameworks

Edited by Rosemary Rayfuse and Nicole Weisfelt

This timely study addresses the pressing issue of food security through a range of interdisciplinary contributions, providing both scholarly and policy-making perspectives. It sets the discussion on food security within the little-studied context of its international legal and regulatory framework. The expert contributors explore the key issues from a development perspective and through the lens of existing governance and policy systems with a view to articulating how these systems can be made more effective in dealing with the roots of food insecurity.

Chapter 9: The financialisation of agricultural commodity futures trading: the 2006–08 global food crisis

Nicola Colbran

Subjects: development studies, law and development, environment, environmental law, law - academic, environmental law, international economic law, trade law, law and development, public international law


The increase and volatility of primary commodity prices during 2006–08 had a severe impact on food security throughout the world. Prices soared, and as a result of the crisis 75 million more people became undernourished and food insecure. It led to civil unrest in over 40 countries, and reactionary protectionist trade measures that only further exacerbated the crisis. The high cost of importing food hit the most vulnerable countries particularly hard. The food import bill of the 50 least developed countries in 2007 reached USD 17.9 billion (30 per cent more than in 2006) and in 2008 reached USD 24.6 billion (37 per cent more than in 2007). Higher food and fuel prices also led to substantial increases in headline inflation, particularly in emerging markets and low-income countries. Governments concerned about the stability of food supplies began acquiring farmland in foreign, mostly developing, countries as an alternative to purchasing food from international markets.

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