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Amanda Little

Soaring Food Prices Can Pay for a More Secure Future

Cheap groceries aren't the goal — that could do more harm than good. Instead, the industry must be pushed to use its cash to fix its problems.

Higher prices provide a perfect opportunity for action.

Higher prices provide a perfect opportunity for action.

Source: Bloomberg

Global food prices shot up nearly 30% on average in 2021, with essentials such as vegetable oils rising by a stunning 68%. We thought that was the bad news. But now 2022 has begun with scary food shortages ranging from fresh lettuce and potatoes to pet food, baby formula, chicken strips and Lunchables. The prices and shortages are driven variously by supply chain bottlenecks, labor problems, high energy costs and climate change pressures — meaning there’s no quick fix.

Consumers have no reason to panic-buy. Shelves will fill back up in the weeks ahead as weather disruptions clear and bottlenecks ease. We should, however, get used to higher prices through 2022 and beyond.