In Britain, rising food prices — up over 15% a year — mean poorer households scrape and struggle. In many countries, they mean people starve. The most basic foods — wheat, rice, corn — have pretty much doubled. Families don’t have enough to eat. In Egypt, workers have struck and occupied factories. In other countries, there have been food riots.
The high prices are good news for the world’s giant agribusinesses. Monsanto’s net income for the three months up to the end of February 2008 was more than double the 2007 figure, up from $543m to $1.12bn.