Every day banks, hedge funds and pension funds make huge profits from betting on grain and rice prices in unregulated financial markets, causing the price of food around the world to rocket. This reckless speculation is pushing up the price of basic commodities, making poor families go hungry and forcing millions into deeper poverty.
This problem started when futures contracts (contracts that guarantee that farmers are able to sell their crops at a certain price) began to be bought and sold by bankers to make a profit. Over the past 20 years, the rules that govern this kind of betting on food prices have gradually been eroded. New and more complicated financial products have been created to allow more ways of speculating on food.
The end result is large profit for financial institutions and drastic price swings in staple foods that have a devastating effect on the world's poorest people.
MRDF has been working with the World Development Movement (WDM) to demand that the UK government back European Commission proposals to regulate speculation on food prices. There is still time to take action.
Write to George Osborne using the form below to help us win this campaign.
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Stop the betting on hunger
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Got five minutes?
Check out an infographic about food speculation
Got ten minutes?
Read the questions and answers sheet, so you can answer tricky questions about food speculation.
Arrange to meet your MEP and talk to them about the EU proposals, using WDM’s excellent briefing pack.