Blog: Food inflation - can we blame the banks for that too?
Chris Brook-Carter | 25 June 2010
It's an easy - and satisfying - exercise to blame the world's financial industry for all the economic woes we have been faced with in the last 18 months. Pay freezes, rising taxes, VAT hikes are easy to pin at their doors. But food inflation? Well there is a link, but we shouldn't be too quick to judge, apparently. I thought you would be interested in this missive, on my desk this morning, from our EU correspondent Keith Nuthall.
"It may come as a surprise to food manufacturers worldwide that the price bubble in commodities that caused such trouble in 2007 to 2008 was NOT the fault of financial speculators.
But that is the conclusion of a study released yesterday (24 June) by two academics tasked by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) to probe the boom in food ingredient prices.
Professors Scott Irwin, of the University of Illinois, and Dwight Sanders, of the University of Southern Illinois agreed that money flowing into commodity markets from 2006 to 2008 "increased substantially".
This happened, they agree, because investors decided food ingredients were in demand and so investing in commodities made sense. But according to Irwin and Sanders, the fact that these investments were made did not inflate prices in itself: "It has not increased price volatility", according to the study.
In other words, the prices would have gone up anyway - a simple matter of supply and demand. Emerging from a recession fuelled by financial speculation, food industry executives can - perhaps - be forgiven for being sceptical."
Danone completed its US$12.5bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods this week. The move will roughly double Danone's presence in North America, where WhiteWave is a top four dairy player. ...
Premier Foods plc revealed today (28 March) it has secured a deal with its pension scheme trustees that will see the UK food maker reduce its pension burden....
Hain Celestial, under the scrutiny of the investment community in recent months and facing some challenges in its domestic market, has announced another shuffling of its management pack....
FrieslandCampina, which today served up higher profits but lower sales for 2016, is ready to offload the last non-dairy business owned by the Dutch cooperative giant....
- Danone's Q1: four things to learn
- Interview: Sir Kensington's on sale to Unilever
- Column: Why snacking is the new meal
- Nestle Q1 update: four things to learn
- Interview: "Disruptive" snack brand Hippeas
- Tyson shops Sara Lee bakery, Kettle and Van's
- Nestle to cut UK confectionery jobs
- Icelandic to sell Saucy Fish Co. owner Seachill
- Tyson to buy burger-to-entree firm AdvancePierre
- PepsiCo affirms full-year target as Q1 hits mark