DuPont announced recently an enhancement to the Global Food Security Index that captures the impact of changes in global food prices at the national level where price fluctuations are felt most directly.
Commissioned by DuPont and developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the Price Adjustment Factor captures the impact of changing food prices and income growth over time. In response to the rising cost of food, mainly in June of this year, the Index recorded a slight decline in food security globally.
“This innovative, new tool is going to help us better understand the root causes of hunger,” said DuPont Executive Vice President Jim Borel. “The ramifications of this year's drought are far reaching. Knowing where the impact is the greatest can help focus our collective efforts where they are needed most.”
The World Bank estimates that global food price spikes in 2008 pushed 44 million people below the poverty line globally, most of them in poor countries. In the United States, almost 15% of households experienced food insecurity in 2011, up 11% before recent price jumps.
“Many factors affect food prices, from rising demand in emerging markets to abrupt changes in the weather,” said EIU Global Forecasting Director Leo Abruzzese. “The new Price Adjustment Factor tool will assess, quarterly, the impact of price changes on a country’s ability to afford food. High and volatile prices can impact food security by limiting consumers’ purchasing power and calorie consumption.”
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