Food Prices on agenda at G20 Agriculture Ministers Summit

OTTAWA - The Green Party of Canada is
calling on Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz to show real leadership at the
upcoming G20 Agriculture Meetings in Paris by supporting efforts to stabilize
the price of food.  “There are a staggering number of malnourished people
globally. The world’s richest countries have a moral duty to do all we can to
rectify this situation,” said Green Leader Elizabeth

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization reports that almost a billion
people are going hungry, 13.6% of the world’s population, due to neglect of
agriculture, the economic crisis, and the increase in food prices, exacerbated
by climate change.

“The G20 Agriculture Ministers` meeting is an excellent
chance to coordinate regulatory changes so that we can get a grip on food price
volatility,” said May.  “We must improve our systems of producing food,
including moving toward small scale farming that takes into account soil health
and water protection.  Climate change must be front and centre, as we will only
see further negative impacts on food production due to the climate

The Greens are supporting Oxfam’s efforts convincing Canada
to get behind proposed measures to stabilize food prices

  • Establishing regional emergency reserves of
  • Publishing information on actual and forecasted food
  • Improving regulation of commodity futures markets,
  • Preventing food crops being used to produce

Oxfam reports that while Canadians spend on average about 10%
of their income on food, a family in a developing country could spent as much as
80% of their income on food.

“Access to food and fair distribution of food to people in
poverty is critical to global security,” said Elizabeth May. “Canada needs to
take a lead.”


Kieran Green
Director of