World powers eye emergency food meeting; action doubted


Gus Trompiz and Nigel Hunt
Reuters
August 14, 2012

Leading members of the Group of 20 nations are prepared to trigger an emergency meeting to address soaring grain prices caused by the worst U.S. drought in more than half a century and poor crops from the Black Sea bread basket.

France, the United States and G20 president Mexico will hold a conference call at the end of August to consider whether an emergency international meeting is required, aiming to avoid a repetition of the food price spike that triggered riots in poorer countries in 2008.

Yet even as the third grain surge in four years stirs new fears about food supply and inflation, many say the world’s powers are no better prepared to rein in runaway prices. Apart from a global grain database, which has yet to be launched, and the Rapid Response Forum that authorities are considering convening for the first time, the G20 has few tools.

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