The Food Price Crisis of 2008: Impacts and Responses with a Case Study on Argentina
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The food price crisis of 2008 has had varied impacts on producers, consumers, governments, and international markets; equally varied have been the responses to the food price crisis by governments around the world. There are five major causes of the food price crisis. These include high energy costs, weather related shortages, depreciation of the dollar, increased demand from developing countries, and low reserve levels. The timeline during which the food price crisis and its causes took place can be categorized into three phases: phase one from 2002 to May 2007, phase two from June 2007 to the summer of 2008, and phase three from the summer of 2008 to the present. Impacts of the food price crisis are observed in four categories, the impacts on consumers, producers, governments, and international trade. Consumer oriented, producer oriented, and trade oriented country responses as well as the positive and negative consequences of those responses are examined. A case study on Argentina’s political responses to the food price crisis allows for a better understanding of how some country responses affected consumers, producers, governments, and international trade. Finally, future crises and food insecurity can be prevented in the future through increased R&D efforts, the removal of trade barriers, reduced protectionism, increased transparency and global coordination, increased incomes for the impoverished, and supply side risk management.