France asks "Who will feed the world?"

The French government has launched a new website as part of the run-up to a conference it will hold on 3 July, at the very beginning of France’s 6-month EU Presidency, to discuss the future of European and global agriculture. Entitled “Qui va nourrir le monde?” (Who will feed the world), the debate is being organised around six questions, divided into two groups. Find out more after the jump…

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France asks “Who will feed the world?”

The French government has launched a new website as part of the run-up to a conference it will hold on 3 July, at the very beginning of France’s 6-month EU Presidency, to discuss the future of European and global agriculture. Entitled “Qui va nourrir le monde?” (Who will feed the world), the debate is being organised around six questions, divided into two groups. Find out more after the jump…

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The mixed up world of US Senator Chuck Grassley

We all know that the legislators who write US farm policy are not the brightest bulbs in the box. Even so, Senator Chuck Grassley treated us to an unusual insight into his own very special, mixed-up world during a telephone press briefing last week, reported in the Des Moines Register. Asked about the contribution of the US Government’s massive food-to-fuel subsidies to rising world food prices and the resulting hunger, poverty and social unrest, Grassley denied there was any connection and suggested the responsibility lay with people in China eating too much meat.

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Stefan speaks out

Before he joined OECD, I would run into agricultural economist Stefan Tangermann from time to time at conferences. I was always impressed by his contributions so it is interesting to read his interview with Agra Focus, one of the latest in an excellent series. In a long interview, he had many interesting points to make and the publication itself is essential reading for those with a serious interest in agriculture and food policy. Below a few of his key themes are picked out.

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Mandelson: EU should 'carefully reflect' on its biofuels policy

With growing consensus that US and EU biofuel subsidies are among the principal contributors to recent global food price rises, termed a ‘silent tsunami’ by The Economist, EU Trade Commissioner today signaled that Europe needs to reconsider its target of achieving a 10 per cent biofuels mix in transport fuel by 2020. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning, Mandelson said:

“We’ve got to develop our biofuels policy intelligently… I think we need to carefully reflect on the approach that we’re taking.”

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Mandelson: EU should ‘carefully reflect’ on its biofuels policy

With growing consensus that US and EU biofuel subsidies are among the principal contributors to recent global food price rises, termed a ‘silent tsunami’ by The Economist, EU Trade Commissioner today signaled that Europe needs to reconsider its target of achieving a 10 per cent biofuels mix in transport fuel by 2020. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme this morning, Mandelson said:

“We’ve got to develop our biofuels policy intelligently… I think we need to carefully reflect on the approach that we’re taking.”

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Podcast: April Agriculture Council round-up with Roger Waite

Roger Waite, editor of Agra Facts, gives his account of this week’s Agriculture Council meeting in Luxembourg. The main issues are the unfolding end game of the WTO Doha Round, and what it means for European agriculture, the global food price rises and the impacts on the world’s poor and the Commission’s latest thinking on its forthcoming legislative proposal for the CAP health check.

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World Bank weighs in to 'food versus fuel' debate

World Bank President Robert Zoellick has warned that high food prices are threatening to undo seven years of progress in global poverty reduction. Zoellick has encouraged donor countries to take immediate action to increase funding to the UN World Food Programme and coordinate a ‘New Deal on World Food Policy’. The World Bank has released a new analysis which points the finger squarely at biofuels as the prime cause of the recent surge in global commodity prices.

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World Bank weighs in to ‘food versus fuel’ debate

World Bank President Robert Zoellick has warned that high food prices are threatening to undo seven years of progress in global poverty reduction. Zoellick has encouraged donor countries to take immediate action to increase funding to the UN World Food Programme and coordinate a ‘New Deal on World Food Policy’. The World Bank has released a new analysis which points the finger squarely at biofuels as the prime cause of the recent surge in global commodity prices.

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Food security fears mount

Fears of unrest are increasing in developing countries as shortages develop of staple foods or prices increase substantially. Governments have cut import tariffs to cope with the problem, but hoarding to take advantage of future price rises has exacerbated the difficulties being encountered.

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