Author Topic: Arab Spring 2.0? Gro Intelligence's Head Warns Global Food Crisis 'Much Worse Th  (Read 1099 times)

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Offline Ptarmigan

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Arab Spring 2.0? Gro Intelligence's Head Warns Global Food Crisis 'Much Worse Than 2008'

Speaking at the sidelines of Bloomberg's New Economy Forum in Singapore, Sara Menker, founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence, cautioned that the current food crisis surpassed the one in 2007-08, which ultimately sparked Arab Spring across the Middle East a few years later. This is primarily due to elevated crop prices and steep declines in local currencies against the dollar.

Bloomberg's Yvonne Man asked Menker: "When we talk about where we see food prices - come off from the record highs of last year. What drives food insecurity is wars, climate change, and economic shocks. And we're feeling that on all fronts right now... So what worries you the most?"

Menker responded: "It's actually the narrative that food prices have come off the highs, which has been the narrative we're using because we're all following future markets that are all dollar-denominated as a gauge of where food prices are."

She said, "Year-on-year food prices have come off quite substantially."

"But what has happened in most other parts of the world that import food - is that food prices continue to go up because local currencies are weakening significantly against the dollar," she said, adding, "People eat in local currency and not in US dollars."

The Arab Spring of 2011 was triggered in large part by global food crisis. This time around is much worse than in 2008.

Menker said in Syria, food inflation is up 2,000%, 1,200% in Lebonan, and 700% in Argentina. She said the food crisis "is far from over for most people in the world."

Later in the interview, Man asked Menker: "Where are we headed now? Obviously, we look at the 2007-08 food crisis at that time. Are we getting closer to that scenario?"

Menker's response was apocalyptic: "Actually, I think we are much worse."

She explained again, "Where food prices are in a lot of countries - if you take it in a local currency basis - food prices are significantly higher when compared to 2007-08."

For some context, after global food prices spiked in 2007-08, in late 2010 and early 2011, discontent over soaring prices triggered the Arab Spring.

The food prices this time around is higher. Very startling.
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