• Squeezed: Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility, Year 1 results

      Hossain, Naomi; King, Richard; Kelbert, Alexandra (Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, 23/05/2013)
      Half a decade after the price spike of 2007-2008, food price volatility has become the new norm: people have come to expect food prices to rapidly rise and fall, though nobody knows by how much or when. So what does the accumulation of food price rises mean for well-being and development in developing countries? And what can be done to improve life in a time of food price volatility? Squeezed provides some preliminary answers to these big development questions, based on the first year results of a four-year project conducted across 10 countries with different levels of exposure to price rises. While high and rising food prices no longer come as a surprise, rapid price changes and the cumulative effects of five years’ worth of price rises are still squeezing those on low incomes. In areas of life neglected by policy – especially domestic care work and informal social safety nets – Squeezed provides reasons to prepare for the next food price spike and provides recommendations for how best to do so, including: widening social assistance for the most vulnerable; being ready with temporary spike-proofing measures; monitoring the real impacts on people’s lives and wellbeing; rethinking social protection policy to ‘crowd-in’ care and informal social assistance; and enabling people to participate in policies to tackle food price volatility.
    • Walking the Breadline: The scandal of food poverty in 21st-century Britain

      Cooper, Niall; Dumpleton, Sarah (Church Action on Poverty, 30/05/2013)
      Although the UK is the seventh richest country in the world, many people struggle to afford even the most essential of goods: food. In this briefing, Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam highlight the rise in food poverty in the UK, where over 500,000 are now thought to be reliant on food parcels. Figures from the Trussell Trust, the biggest network of foodbanks in the UK, reveal that cuts and changes to the welfare system are the most common reason for people resorting to food banks. This growth in food aid demonstrates that the social safety net is failing. Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam believe that everyone should have enough income to feed themselves and their families with dignity, and that foodbanks should not replace the social safety net. This is why we are recommending, among other things, that the government conducts an urgent inquiry into the relationship between welfare changes and cuts, and the growth of food poverty.