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Global food chain stretched to the limit. Soaring prices spark fears of social unrest in developing world
Originally posted by babybunnies
Also, prices on junk food are rising because the holidays are over. Junk food is always cheaper over Christmas / New Years, every single year, and rises again once the holidays are done.
It's better to price out real food instead of junk food for good measure.
Originally posted by dbriefed
Suppliers are hiding the price increases (a 'soft landing'?) by shrinking package sizes and keeping the prices the same.
Can't get any more credible than Consumer Reports, can you? Well, one of the more trusted organizations anyway.
Release Date: 01/04/2011
CR Finds More Products Are Getting Smaller
Manufacturers downsizing packaging by as much as 20% but still charging the same price
YONKERS, NY — Does it seem like some products don’t last as long as they used to? From toothpaste to tuna fish, hot dogs to hand soap, companies have been shaving ounces and inches from packages for years. ConsumerReports’ latest investigation, featured in the February issue of Consumer Reports and online at www.ConsumerReports.org, found that more and more products are getting downsized.
Household names like Tropicana orange juice, Ivory soap and Kraft singles American cheese are all playing the shrinking package game, and manufacturers are attributing it to rising costs for ingredients and energy. “They’ve got a point. Higher commodity and fuel costs are expected to spike in food prices by as much as 3 percent is 2011,” said Tod Marks, senior editor and resident shopping expert at Consumer Reports. “But if manufacturers are skimping when costs go up, why aren’t they more generous when costs hold steady or fall?”
Companies often hide their handiwork when they shrink their packages. Indenting the bottom of containers, making plastic wraps thinner, or whipping air into ice cream are a few subtle ways companies downsize their products.
Higher oil prices are also pushing up the cost of food
The added shipping cost raises the delivered price of agricultural products.
Higher oil prices also divert more crops like corn and soybeans to biofuel production, further tightening supplies for livestock feed and human consumption. Conley estimates that more than a third of the corn produced in the U.S is now used to make ethanol.
Despite tightening supplies, the rise in food prices has been much tamer in the developed world. On Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that food prices at the consumer level rose just one-tenth of one percent. On Thursday, the government reported that the food component of the Producer Price Index rose just 0.8 percent in December. For all of 2010, food prices at the producer level rose 3.5 percent.
The reason for the modest price rise in the U.S.? People living in developed countries eat more processed foods, so raw materials make up a much smaller portion of the total retail cost.
"In this country, a much higher proportion of your food dollar is spent on processing, advertising and promotion and marketing," said Tom Jackson, a senior economist with Global Insight. "There’s not really that margin built in between the farmer and the consumer in the developing countries."
Food price spikes hit less-developed countries much harder because a greater share of per capita income — half or more — goes to pay for food. U.S. consumers, on the other hand, spend an average of about 13 percent of disposable income on food.
strong global demand and tight supplies are bringing misery to some poor countries, the price surge is a sign of improving conditions in emerging economies. That’s because increased demand is caused in part to rapidly rising standards of living, according to David Malpass, president of economic research firm Encima Global.
Bobby and Amanda Herring spent more than a year providing food to homeless people in downtown Houston every day. They fed them, left behind no trash and doled out warm meals peacefully without a single crime being committed, Bobby Herring said.
That ended two weeks ago when the city shut down their "Feed a Friend" effort for lack of a permit. And city officials say the couple most likely will not be able to obtain one.
"We don't really know what they want, we just think that they don't want us down there feeding people,"
I think the shortage is cause more by capitalism and mismanagement then actual lack of resources. Also the shortage could be designed.....
“In summary, we have record low grain inventories globally as we move into a new crop year. We have demand growing strongly. Which means that going forward even small crop failures are going to drive grain prices to record levels. As an investor, we continue to find these long term trends...very attractive.” Food shortfalls predicted: 2008 www.financialsense.com...
“Recently there have been increased calls for the development of a U.S. or international grain reserve to provide priority access to food supplies for Humanitarian needs. The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) strongly advise against this concept..Stock reserves have a documented depressing effect on prices... and resulted in less aggressive market bidding for the grains.” July 22, 2008 letter to President Bush www.naega.org...
With consumers increasingly demanding food that is safe, nutritious, and locally grown, the industry is sure to grow, say Penn State researchers, who believe that maximum growth will depend on collaboration among different parts of the industry from the grower through the processor and marketer to the consumer, and also involve institutions of higher learning to provide science-based innovations and an educated workforce. The university is responding to this need by developing a coalition to address strengths and weaknesses in the food industry.
[The project is being funded by a USDA grant.]
Wal-Mart Supports Local Produce: Wal-Mart announced that it is increasing its partnerships with local growers and shining the spotlight on locally sourced fruits and vegetables available in its stores. www.americanvegetablegrower.com...
UNITED NATIONS - Former President Clinton told a U.N. gathering Thursday that the global food crisis shows "we all blew it, including me," by treating food crops "like color TVs" instead of as a vital commodity for the world's poor.... sudanvisiondaily.com...
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton made a remarkable admission a couple of weeks ago. His neoliberal “free trade” policies of the 1990’s have led to the destruction of Haiti’s agricultural sector and the inability of the country to feed itself.
"It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked. It was a mistake," said Clinton to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 10. "I had to live everyday with the consequences of the loss of capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people because of what I did; nobody else.” www.stwr.org...
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy report argues that the Agreement on Agriculture fails to account for agri-business’ monopoly over global agricultural trade. www.socialfunds.com...
Between 1995 and 2000, the prices US farmers receive for corn declined 33 percent, 42 percent for wheat, and 34 percent for soybeans… since NAFTA went into effect 33,000 small farmers in the US have gone out of business— more than six times the pre-NAFTA rate. According to a study by Jose Romero and Alicia Puyana carried out for the federal government of Mexico, between 1992 and 2002, the number of agricultural households fell an astounding 75% – from 2.3 million to 575, 000 www.globalexchange.org...
Farmer suicides in India:
Now the full toll—surely among the largest sustained waves of suicides in human history—is becoming apparent. And as Sainath emphasizes, these numbers still underestimate the disaster, since women farmers are excluded from the official statistics… It is important that the figure of 150,000 farm suicides is a bottom line estimate…. As Professor Nagaraj puts it: “There is likely to be a serious underestimation of suicides…what has driven the huge increase in farm suicides, particularly in the Big Four or ’Suicide SEZ’ States? “Overall,” says Professor Nagaraj, “there exists since the mid-90s, an acute agrarian crisis. That’s across the country. In the Big Four and some other states, specific factors compound the problem…. Cultivation costs have shot up in these high input zones, with some inputs seeing cost hikes of several hundred per cent… Meanwhile, prices have crashed, as in the case of cotton, due to massive U.S.-EU subsidies to their growers. All due to price rigging with the tightening grip of large corporations over the trade in agricultural commodities.” alternatives-international.net...
...Unless there was a change of attitude, Sydney's poultry industry was doomed, as councils no longer gave development approval to chicken sheds. The fresh chickens that Sydneysiders took for granted would no longer be available and the energy-saving boon of poultry only a few food miles from their plates would be lost. ... www.smh.com.au...
Tyranny: How to destroy a business with environmental red tape
....This is the price we pay for vague laws where business people can run ventures, do everything to the letter of the law, with best-practice procedures, winning customers and contracts, yet go broke despite all that because of onerous, impossible-to-meet conditions, that are unmeasurable, and change suddenly, with the added bonus of inordinately long delays. At the moment, Janet and Matts farm, Narrogin Beef Producers, lies empty, unstocked, while debts accrue by the minute.
This is also a story of sovereign risk. Investors in Australian industry beware.... joannenova.com.au...
and this right here is one of the main reasons why TPTB want population control. Not enough resources for the existing population
If something isn;t done now there will be long term issues concerning food supply in the future and will there will be some food storages...
hate to bring this up again as I know folks are tired of hearing it, but guess who owns massive stock in Monsanto and Pfizer ??? George Soros
Holder........................Shares....Date Reported: Position
GRANT HUGH............520,604...17-Feb-09: Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
PARFET WILLIAM U...351,482...30-Jan-09: director (M), CEO MPI Research, Inc.,
CREWS TERRELL K...158,070...16-Jan-09: Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer
FRALEY ROBERT T....111,226...20-Oct-08: Executive Vice President Chief Technology Officer
MORLEY CHERYL P.....88,798...20-Oct-08President, Animal Ag Group, SVP Corp.e Strategy
TOP INSTITUTIONAL HOLDERS
MARSICO CAPITAL Mgmt, LLC.....27,538,373...5.03...$1,937,324,540...31-Dec-08
Barclays Global Investors UK Ltd....22,279,264...4.07...$1,567,346,222...31-Dec-08
STATE STREET CORPORATION....20,919,310...3.82...$1,471,673,458...31-Dec-08
VANGUARD GROUP, INC. (THE)...17,816,692...3.26....$1,253,404,282...31-Dec-08
PRIMECAP MANAGEMENT CO.....15,394,518...2.81....$1,083,004,341...31-Dec-08
Capital Research Global Investors....10,678,430...1.95.....$751,227,550...31-Dec-08
JANUS CAPITAL Mgmt, LLC..............9,863,845...1.80.....$693,921,495...31-Dec-08
TOP MUTUAL FUND HOLDERS
FIDELITY GROWTH COMPANY FUND....5,819,978...1.06...$409,435,452...31-Dec-08
VANGUARD 500 INDEX FUND.................5,250,119......96...$519,656,778...30-Sep-08
FIDELITY MAGELLAN FUND INC...........5,117,600......94...$360,023,160...31-Dec-08
SPDR TRUST SERIES 1.............................5,021,081......92...$496,986,597...30-Sep-08
GROWTH FUND OF AMERICA INC..........4,924,351......90...$346,428,092...31-Dec-08
VANGUARD STOCK MARKET INDEX FD.4,259,093......78...$421,565,025...30-Sep-08
VANGUARD HORIZON FUND...................3,819,486.....70...$378,052,724...30-Sep-08
COLLEGE RETIREMT EQUITIES FUND..3,512,888.....64....$347,705,654...30-Sep-08
PRICE (T.ROWE) GROWTH FUND INC.....3,410,200.....62...$337,541,596...30-Sep-08
Hemp protein & oil would feed a lot more folks than the cows & pigs who eat the corn planted to feed livestock.
The price rise is due to inflation as the market place has been flooded with money over the past couple of years. The story about food shortages is more of a distraction so the Federal Reserve are not blamed for there reckless management of the economy...
New money does not appear magically in equal percentages in all people's bank accounts or under their mattresses. Money spreads unevenly, and this process has varying effects on individuals, depending on whether they receive early or late access to the new money
It is these losses of the groups that are the last to be reached by the variation in the value of money which ultimately constitute the source of the profits made by the mine owners and the groups most closely connected with them
This indicates a fundamental aspect of Mises's monetary theory that is rarely mentioned: the expansion or contraction of money is a zero-sum game.... Some individuals are made better off by an increase in the money supply; others are made worse off. The existing money is an example of a "fixed pie of social value." Adding to the money supply does not add to its value....
Mises argued that the losses of the late-coming losers are the source of income for the early arrival winners. This inescapably identifies the monetary system as a zero-sum game. In Human Action, he included a section denying what he calls the Montaigne dogma: "the gain of one man is the damage of another; no man profits but at the loss of other"
...his [Mises] entire theory of money rests on this dogma's complete applicability in the matter of increases and decreases in the money supply. The economic benefits obtained by the early users of new money, even gold, are made at the expense of those who gain access to it after it has altered the array of prices.
Again, here is his theory, briefly stated. Money is neither a production good nor a consumption good. Thus, increases or decreases in the supply of money cannot scientifically be said to create or destroy wealth in general. These changes distribute wealth.
Mises on Money: www.lewrockwell.com...
For some reason we were not allowed to give that food away. We would throw out bags of these unused crusts (breadsticks) daily.... could have supplied a homeless shelter with breadsticks each day.
I brought it up to the manager and he told me that we were not allow to give food away...
The article was talking about the IMPACT of soaring prices ON DEVELOPING countries!
In round numbers, U.S. farmers produce about $100 billion worth of crops and about $100 billion worth of livestock each year...
Corn: The United States is, by far, the largest producer of corn in the world... In 2000, the U.S. produced almost ten billion bushels of the world’s total 23 billion bushel crop...
... about eighty percent of all corn grown in the U.S. is consumed by domestic and overseas livestock, poultry, and fish production. About 12% of the U.S. corn crop ends up in foods... It also has a wide array of industrial uses including ethanol, a popular oxygenate in cleaner burning auto fuels.
Soybeans: ...Over 350,000 farms in the United States produce soybeans, accounting for over 50% of the world’s soybean production and $6.66 billion in soybean and product exports in 2000. Soybeans represented 56 percent of world oilseed production in 2000.
Wheat: ... The U.S. produces about 13% of the world’s wheat and supplies about 25% of the world’s wheat export market...
Cotton: ..Cotton is grown from coast-to-coast, but in only 17 southern states. Farms in those states produce over 20% of the world’s cotton....
Rice:... farms are concentrated in six states: Arkansas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Texas. U.S. rice production accounts for just over 1% of the world’s total, but this country is the second leading rice exporter with 18% of the world market. www.epa.gov...
Is it just me or is there something very wrong with this?