Food Security Portal

New tools to support the global food security discussion by making news, data, and price analysis more accessible

Agricultural Commodity Prices Tool

The FAO’s recent announcement that global food prices reached a record high in December 2010 has once again brought food security to the forefront of global attention. The continued rise in food prices in 2010, coupled with the prediction of a continuation of the trend in 2011, will have serious implications for food and nutrition security across the world, particularly in developing nations. We have already seen some of these implications with riots in Algeria and Jordan and the ousting of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia.

With food prices having such far-reaching effects, access to correct, relevant, and useful global price and market information is more important than ever before. To better serve this need, the Food Security Portal has been redeveloped to support and inform the global food security discussion by making news, data, and price analysis more accessible to a wider range of users. The Portal continues to grow in use amongst researchers, analysts, and policymakers, with visitors from 123 countries accessing the site since December 2010. The new layout and expanded features include:

News

The home page and News page provide a visualization of food security hotspots around the world, with breaking news on commodity prices, harvests, and politics updated daily. A new email subscription feature allows users to receive the latest food security news delivered straight to their inbox.

Food for thought

The Food For Thought blog provides thought-provoking insights into ongoing food security issues, with links to videos and publications produced by leading researchers. With new issues discussed each week, the blog expands the global food security dialogue by allowing users to comment on each post.

Country profiles

Many variables affect food security. The country profiles are designed to provide insight into key country-level indicators for livelihoods, food production, exports and imports, and commodity prices. Food security news for each country is updated daily.

Datastore

The Portal provides comprehensive datasets for easy monitoring of price changes at the global and country level. Drawing on data from the FAO, the World Bank, UNICEF, the IMF, and other trusted sources, these datasets are updated regularly and provide accurate, reliable information on everything from global inflation to world commodity prices to calorie supply per capita.

Tools for analysis

A variety of new tools and visualizations have been developed to allow for easy analysis of the causes and effects of changes in food prices. Commodities graphs track global prices dating back to 1998 and provide daily returns on futures prices. Annotated commodity price timelines provide a simple visual explanation of past and present behavior of four main commodity markets (wheat, maize, rice, and soybeans), combining time series of commodity prices with other related information such as real-time news stories and synopses of major events related to global commodity price fluctuations. A Terms-of- Trade Effect tool provides a quick and easy way to assess the country-level impact of a change in world commodity prices, while a Short-Run Impact of Releasing Food Stocks simulator allows users to model the impact of a release of stocks of a particular commodity. Welfare simulators provide a simple modeling tool to assess the effects of changing prices and crop production on local communities’ welfare.

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International Food Security Conference, 23rd of May, in Brussels

Food for everyone - towards a global deal! Is it possible? This is our vision for the international conference that the European Economic and Social Committee organizes on the 23rd of May on global food security, in cooperation with the European Commission. This major international event will take place in the EESC Jacques Delors building in Brussels with the participation of national and international decision-makers, experts in the field of food security and agriculture and civil society organizations. The outcome of the event will be a set of recommendations for the G20 meeting of agriculture minister taking place in June this year!

Therefore the event is a milestone for us, and we want the discussions to start before the 23rd of May and to continue afterwards. I’m inviting you to engage in the debates that are already taking place on our online platform dedicated to this conference and to our vision: Food for everyone-towards a global deal!
Have your say! Join us at: http://eesc.europa.eu/food-for-everyone/

The EESC attaches particular importance to food security issues and has prepared and adopted several opinions on this global food challenge. We will do our best to take on board your input for the discussions at the conference and in our recommendations.