Printer Friendly

Families facing rising food prices as extreme weather around the world affects farmers' crops.

FAMILIES are being warned that extreme weather conditions around the world this year could lead to rising food prices at the supermarket.

According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), global food prices rose 6% in July alone.

Scorching heat and drought have devastated corn and soy production in parts of the United States.

Wheat output from other major exporters such as Russia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, has also dropped due to weatherrelated disruption.

Although food prices remain below their February 2011 peak, the FAO says there is cause for concern that prices could creep higher.

Farmers in Wales have had to deal with too much water with June the wettest on record, its rainfall more than double the average.

A number of farmers in Ceredigion were also affected by the June floods following two days of torrential rain.

Ed Bailey, president of NFU Cymru, said that while farmers were used to the rainy Welsh weather, this summer had been "extreme" and had badly affected crops.

He said "People are telling me that the grains - things like barley - are absolutely dreadful."

Farmers in Wales grow crops to feed to their animals during the winter months. But a poor yield means they might have to buy in feed, which would add to their overheads.

Mr Bailey said: "You have to bear in mind everything depends on grain - bread, milk, beef, bacon. Food costs are going to have to go up."

Promotion company Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC) also said the number of lambs going to auction in Welsh markets was approximately 30,000 - or 10% - less than for the same period last year.

John Richards, from HCC, said the weather meant there were fewer "fattened lambs".

In Stockholm, global leaders who assembled yesterday at the opening session of the 2012 World Water Week, called for substantial increases in public and private sector investment to reduce losses of food in the supply chain, enhance water efficiency in farming and curb consumer waste.

More than 2,000 politicians, company chief executives, scientists and leaders of international organisations from more than 100 nations have gathered in Sweden, for the annual World Water Week event, which this year focuses on "water and food security".

More than 900 million people suffer from hunger and two billion more people face serious health risks from undernourishment.

At the same time, 1.5bn people overeat and over one third of all food is lost or wasted.

Torgny Holmgren, executive director of the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), the organiser of World Water Week in Stockholm, said: "More than one fourth of all the water we use worldwide is taken to grow over a billion tonnes of food that nobody eats.

"That water, together with the billions of dollars spent to grow, ship, package and purchase the food, is sent down the drain.

"Reducing the waste of food is the smartest and most direct route to relieve pressure on water and land resources.

"It's an opportunity we cannot afford to overlook."

Stockholm International Water Institute scientists have suggested adopting a mainly vegetarian diet as one option to increase the amount of water available to grow more food in today's "climate-erratic" world.

The institute says people's calorie intake from animals should drop to 5% from its current 20%.

Animal protein-rich food consumes five to 10 times more water than a vegetarian diet and a third of the world's arable land is used to grow crops to feed animals.

The report by the Stockholm International Water Institute states: "There will be just enough water if the proportion of animal-based foods is limited to 5% of total calories and considerable regional water deficits can be met by a reliable system of food trade."



* Ed Bailey, president of farming union NFU Cymru
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2012 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Aug 28, 2012
Previous Article:Gulf coast braced as Isaac roars in.
Next Article:Bank Holiday deluge keeps Wales on course for one of its wettest summers; FINAL DAY OF TAWE FEST LOST BECAUSE OF SAFETY WORRIES.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2021 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |