It seems as though a very real planetary emergency is unfolding right before our eyes. We have to pay attention to the facts. I am not trying to spread fear, I’am trying to share the facts that are presented to us. My intention is to provoke thought and what you do with it from here is up to you.
The pace that things are changing all over the world is extremely alarming. Some are saying that the Global food crisis will be one of affordability rather than food supply and then others are saying that due to drought and heat waves the Global food crisis can be worse than we imagined.
Then we have some strange facts to add to the mix to keep in mind. China is buying up farmland in the U.S, Bill Gates now owns a crazy amount of farmland in the U.S, and then there the mysterious fires that are destroying food processing plants. It all just seems insane. Some people are tying Bill Gates this to Bill gates buying out a ton of farmland across the country, but it is nothing more than speculation at this time. President Biden is warning that ” The food shortage is gonna be real.” Thank you Biden for that in-depth analysis. Whatever the case may be, it is being questioned more and more, and we have yet to hear a reasonable explanation.
Elaine Quijano from CBS News reports that with Ukraine being one of the worlds top exportors of wheat, barley, sunflower oil and soy beans. These crops are cultivated in Eastern Ukraine and sent around the globe to ports along the black sea. Including the towns of Kyiv, Kharkiv, Mykolaiv, Odesa, Mariupol and Kherson who are under attack. This causes supply disruptions on countries who rely on Ukraine for food. Yet she also states that even prior to the invasion in Ukraine global supplies where tight, we where seeing record high prices for a lot of commodities due to droughts around the world and other issues such as the pandemic that drew down inventories and raised prices. When asked what countries will be hit the hardest they stated that it is a global issue but the countries that are heavily reliant on import from the Ukraine and Russia will be hit the hardest. Wheat is an important food source from North Africa and the Middle East, in some countries up to 35% of the calories consumed come from wheat. Most of the wheat is imported and most of the imports come from the Black Sea. So Ukraine and Russia are key importers for these countries as well as others. Many different countries are placing Export Bans which is good for their domestic consumers in their own country however unfortunately it exacerbates the supply program for the rest of the world. Elaine says ” There are so many dire ripple effects as a result of this conflict.”
Lets look at the facts.
#1. French foreign minister warns of global famine. Frances foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said that the EU must come to grips with the war in the UK could prompt an extremely serious Global Food Crisis… France’s Macron proposes urgent food security plan over Ukraine War.
#2 German retailers have increased their food prices by 20 % to 50% That news was reported three weeks ago. The German inflation is the highest in a generations. They are telling their people to prepare for price hikes on general everyday goods. With the most recent consumer price index readings reaching 7.6% annual pace. Growing beyond all expectations. In Germany people are waking up at 7am when the markets open to get the items they are needing and are still rationed to one packet of flower. They say that they were forced to shop for products online and state that most of the online shops are very expensive.
#3 In Spain food rationing has already begun. Spain has already been experiencing empty shelves in their markets on items such as eggs, milk and other dairy products. In early March big food chains such as Makro and Mercandona have started rationing items such as Sunflower oil. Spain is experiencing Lorry Strikes as their food shortage continues. In Madrid restaurant Docamar owned by Raul Cabrera says now it costs them more to buy the products needed. The burden has been shared by the customers with prices growing up by 5% recently. The price of olive oil has gone up 27% , but energy costs have increased by even more as part of what has been an international trend. The pandemic hit Spain very hard but now they say that are feeling like they are going on a uphill battle .
#4 The CEO of Black Rock warns us that we will have a scarcity inflation like we have never seen before.. In a event hosted by Texas independent producers and royalty owners association Black Rock President Rob Kapito told the audience that an entire generation is quickly finding out what it means to suffer from shortages. ” For the first time this generation is going to go into a store and not be able to get what they want” and Kapito said ” And he also stated that we have a very entitled generation that has never had to sacrifice.” I wonder if Mr Larry Fink has ever had to sacrifice and if he even knows how entitled he himself sounds. The very definition of ENTITLEMENT is : people who believe they should be able to get what they want just because of who they are.
#5 Fertilizer prices have gone up as much as 300% compared to just a year ago and they say that delivery times on the fertilizer is anyone’s guess. When it comes to Global exports, Russia is first . With a share of 16.5% of exported nitrogen exports, China follows with around 11.2% of nitrogen exports, then Saudi Arabia which holds a share of 6.4% of nitrogen exports. Of the phosphate exports China is first holding a share of 25.2%, Morocco is second with a share of 17.4% and then Russia with a share of 12.7% of global phosphate exports. Cananda holds the largest share of global potassium exports with 36.2%, Belarus is next with a share of 18.5%, and then we have Russia with a share of 16.5% of global potassium exports. From Covid-19 lock downs to the war in the Ukraine it has been a recipe for disaster for farmers.This extreme spike is discouraging many farmers from planting crops this year. With the prices of fertiliser’s climbing, the cost of fuel rising, costs of labor insurance,packing supplies and everything in between, farmers are warning that this winters wheat harvest will be disastrous.
#6 During normal times Russia and the Ukraine collectively account for rouphly 30% of all global wheat exports. Countries such as Armenia, Mongolia, Kazahstan,and Eritrea have imported virtually all of their wheat from Russia and Ukraine, and must now find new sources. But they are now in competition with larger buyers including Turkey, Egypt, Bangladesh and Iran. Which have obtained more than 60% of their wheat from the two warring countries.
#7 In the United States there is a Bird Flue pandemic happening. This Bird flue is said to be killing millions of turkeys and chickens at a breath taking rate. In Iowa it was reported that another 5 million egg laying chickens had to be put down after infection cases were confirmed. Food prices in the U.S soared to record highs since the beginning of 2022. Johanna Mendelson Forman who is a Professor at the School of International Service American University says it is particularly concerning because the U.S. is just coming out of a recovery along with the rest of the world from a two and a half year long pandemic. That had severe implications on the price of consumer services as well as commodities. Coming out of that kind of historic disturbance in the world we are hit with a really huge Geo-political event. The UN food chief states that Ukraine’s war food crisis is the worst since WWII.
#8. Tucker Carlson notes that over a dozen food processing plants have had unexplained accidents in the past year. 18 have been reported in total. A plane crashes into the General Mills Factory in Covington Georgia on April 21st, On April 14th a plane crashed into the Gem State processing pant in Idaho ,a mysterious fire started all over the country in food processing plants. April 13th Taylor Farms in Salinas California the worlds largest producer of fresh cut goods caught fire, March 24th in Belfast Maine a massive fire destroyed a potato processing plant,they are not the only potato plant that has caught fire and been destroyed. Tyson Foods in Hanceville Alabama it was a poultry rendering plant that produces animal feed. All this is happening the same time President Biden is warning about the Global food shortages. Accidents do happen as we all know but when you have well over a dozen food process plants in a matter of two weeks in a time when the food supply is already vulnerable, it is obviously suspicious and has people wondering if it is an intentional way of disrupting the food supply. At the same time China has been buying up as much as 200 thousand acres at least of U.S farmland. He states that he is not saying all these things are connected but he is saying that these are indeed ” The Facts.”
#9 In Greece they have started rationing flour, sugar and sunflower oil purchases as consumers are beginning to hoard. They are struggling to afford food and electricity as the inflation sours. As energy costs rise many people have received electricity bills that they cannot afford to pay. The government in Greece is subsidizing farmers fuel and has halved sales tax on animal feed and fertilizer, but it is not enough. The cost of fresh meat and vegetables has gone up 40% since last summer and since Christmas energy bills have doubled. Causing businesses to go out of business and others to live on the streets. They can’t afford to pay the ever climbing costs. Greece has been one of the most exposed countries to energy price hikes because 40% of their energy products are generated from imported natural gas. Experts are also claiming that in refugee camps in Greece they are being denied food And this included children in the refugee camps. They say it is the result of the Greek governments decision to halt food provisions for those no longer in the asylum procession procedure. Martha Roussou from the International Rescue Committee states, ” It is unthinkable that people are growing hungry in Greece. Through no fault of their own they have fallen through the cracks, and all because of a problem created by gaps in legislation policy. 16,559 refugees were registered in camps on the Greek mainland, but only 10,213 received food. Greek Secretary General of Reception of Asylum Seekers Manos Logothestis has indeed rejected these allegations. However a statement from the Greek Migration Ministry reiterated…that only people applying for international protection could be considered.
#10. Reports that in the UK farmers are being paid 110k to retire early. The claim is that the UK government has offered older farmers 100K to retire in order to encourage older farmers to retire and as an incentive to the younger generation to enter the industry. It is a way to help the older farmers who wish to retire a way to do so without being restricted for financial reasons. Their income has fallen already by 20% in a years time due to Covid, weather and Brexit. Many farmers in the UK need gas to counter the countries weather and with gas prices climbing for us all it’s becoming harder for farmers to grow crops. Experts are claiming that in the UK inflation hit a 30 year high of 6.2% in February 2022 and they are forecasting the biggest fall of living standards since at least the 1950’s. They claim that they are sleep walking into food shortages in the UK. They urge to shop locally and waist less.
#11. Venezuela has been struggling to afford food. Just in the last year due to the pandemic Venezuela’s poverty rate rose to 9%. Around 3 out of every 4 Venezuelin now live in extreme poverty. Even though Venezuela was experiencing some of these problems before the pandemic , but it is now spreading like a virus a crossed Latin America and the Caribbean. A new report by the UN found that more than 59 million people in the region are going hungry. That is an increase by more than 13 million people in just one year. The hardest hit countries include Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, Bolivia, Ecuador and Guatemala.
Ceo of the major food brand Goya Bob Unyanway issued a dire warning during an interview on FOX news discussing the inflation impact. When asked to assess the situation concerning Food Inflation . He stated : “that we are on the precopice of a global food crisis. God created humanity and humanity has created every way to destroy itself, from nuclear to biological , chemical. But now we waged a war, we’ve weaponized food.” He discusses how between Russia and the Ukraine supplies 50% of the worlds fertilizer, 30% of the worlds wheart 20% corn, 2 and a half million acres of sunflowers. They also have minerals,sand for fracking, and sand for glass. He states his opinion that we have provoked this war as a world, by showing weakness and a lack of resolve to protect women and children and the innocent. He says it started with Afghanistan where we left millions of women and children behind, sending millions of women into exile. He cries out that ” If the United States the greatest country on Earth doesn’t stand up for the defenseless…who will?’ He did steer off the subject at hand, but it’s thought provoking. Since when have we become a world in which all this nonsensical nonsense is acceptable?
Conflict and hunger are closely intertwined- when one escalates, the other usually follows. As in any crisis, it is usually the poorest and most vulnerable who are hit hardest. In our Globalized world, the impacts of this conflict will reverberate across continents. These words come from Gilbert Houngbo, former Prime Minister of Togo now President of the United Nations International Fund for agricultural Development. Between 720 million and 811 million people in the world faced hunger in 2020. Then around 70 million to 160 million more people faced hunger in 2021 during the Covid pandemic. Svein Tore President and CEO told BBc Half of the wolds population gets food as a result of fertilizers… and if that is removed from the fields the yield of crops will drop by 50%. He also states that ” For me, it is not whether we are moving into a Global food crisis- it is how large the crisis will be.”
As we know there are other key factors to our growing food crisis other than the conflict in the Ukraine. We have climate variability and extremes, economic slowdowns and down turns exacerbated by COVID-19 pandemic. Now we are seeing millions of people around the world facing malnutrition and food insecurity because they can not afford the rising food costs of healthy diets.
Many are urging that we start integrating humanitarian development and peace building policies in conflict related areas,
scaling uo climate resilience across food systems,
strengthening the resilience of the most vulnerable to economic diversity.
Intervening along the food supply chains to lower the cost of nutritious foods.
tackling poverty and structural inequalities, ensuring interventions are pro-poor and inclusive
strengthening food environments and changing consumer behavior to promote dietary patterns with positive impacts on human health and the environment
We are all in this together and need not run our lives with fear but rather with intent to help our fellow man. With all this information we can each make some changes and hold hope near and dear to our hearts. I’m not saying it will be easy, but we the people can unite and despite the agendas of others we can overcome.