23 Junho 2011 | 11h00
The world faces "a century of hunger" if the international community cannot agree on new rules regarding food prices, the French agriculture minister has warned. Nigel Cassidy reports.
With global food prices up 40% on average since last summer, there's a new consensus among the leading nations that they should act together not only to try and secure supplies but to curb some of the causes of the volatility, not just in commodity trading but on the streets as essential foods become unaffordable for some.
The G20 nations hope to calm food markets by agreeing greater transparency in how much dairy, grain, rice or other foodstuffs each country is producing.
Now strong demand for farm foods seem likely to push up prices for years to come but President Sarkozy also blames speculators for price hikes which have fuelled unrest in the Middle East and North Africa but his demand for curbs on investors taking positions in food commodities seem unlikely to get majority support.
But another idea that may not get traction in Paris is a plan for countries to hold, say, grain or rice stocks in reserve. An idea seen as a throwback to the days when countries and not farmers controlled their own food production.
consensus (consenso) an opinion that all members of a group agree with
to curb (conter) to control or limit
volatility (volatilidade) suddenly and unexpected changes in price
commodity trading (comércio de commodities) buying or selling a product or raw material, especially between countries
transparency (transparência) openness, to remove any secrecy
foodstuffs (alimentos) substances that are used as food
speculators (especuladores) people who buy and sell goods or shares in a company in the hope of making a profit
price hikes (altas súbitas de preços) sudden increases in the price of goods
fuelled unrest (estimulou distúrbios) increased an uneasy or troubled situation
a throwback (repetição de uma situação passada)
a situation that is similar to something that existed in the pastBBC Brasil - Todos os direitos reservados. É proibido todo tipo de reprodução sem autorização por escrito da BBC.
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