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Why global food prices are higher today than for most of modern history

By Alastair Smith, Senior Teaching Fellow in Global Sustainable Development, University of Warwick
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Global food prices shot up nearly 33% in September 2021 compared with the same period the year before. That’s according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)‘s monthly Food Price Index, which also found that global prices have risen by more than 3% since July, reaching levels not seen since 2011.

The Food Price Index is designed to capture the combined outcome of changes in a range of food commodities, including vegetable oils, cereals, meat and sugar, and compare them month to month. It converts actual prices to an index, relative to average…


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