Historical food inflation reinforces the importance of donation

Food prices break records around the world and have a greater impact on the poorest families

It's not just in Brazil that people are feeling inflation when they go to the market. Food prices have reached a new record around the world, says the latest FAO Food Price Index (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). 

The index reached 159.3 points in March 2022, an increase of 12.6% compared to February — and the highest level since the index was created in 1990. Between March 2021 and March 2022, food prices increased by 33.6%.

According to the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, the most recent series from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) also points to a historic high — the biggest in a hundred years — in food prices, surpassing the food inflation that occurred at the time of the Second World War (1939-1945) and the first crisis oil world (1973-1974).

The biggest responsible for the increase were vegetable oils and cereals, whose prices rose a lot because of the war in Ukraine, which, like Russia, is an important producer of these items — together, the countries hold 34% of the world wheat market and 73% of sunflower oil, according to IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Policy Institute). Meat, sugar and dairy products have also become significantly more expensive, according to the FAO. 

But the conflict in Ukraine is not the only cause of inflation. Other events had already contributed to increasing pressure on food prices, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, poor harvests in South America and Malaysia, the use of palm and soy oil to produce biodiesel and problems in the supply chain. , which reduced stocks of grains and oilseeds and raised prices, points out IFPRI.

Greater shock for the most vulnerable

The rise in prices for basic foods, such as wheat and vegetable oils, “hits the poorest hardest”, commented Qu Dongyu, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 

According to the FAO, food inflation is most worrying in countries that are already facing other crises, including conflicts, natural disasters, economic crises (or a combination of these factors). 

“The increases are most notable in countries where the share of disposable income spent on food is highest. In these cases, the most vulnerable tend to skip meals, buy less nutritious foods or use other coping strategies, which will have long-term effects on their health and well-being,” said a spokesperson for the organization. to The Guardian newspaper.

This worrying situation reinforces the importance of rapid action to combat food insecurity in Brazil, where one in four people no longer has the necessary amount of food to feed their family, points out a research carried out by Datafolha in March 2022.

“An alternative to reducing hunger in Brazil today is the mobilization of the private sector for the redistribution of food”, says Alcione Silva, founder and CEO of Connecting Food, a social impact business that is an iFood partner in Everyone at the Table

In partnership with eight other companies, the movement redistributed 1,800 tons of surplus food from industry, retail, distributors and restaurants to social organizations and food banks, benefiting 730,000 people in six months.

During the pandemic, social investment made by Brazilian companies grew and reached 85% of donations made in the country, according to the ABCR (Brazilian Association of Fundraisers) Donations Monitor.

To help those who want to donate to those who need it most, iFood has the option of making a donation when completing your order. With this tool, more than R$ 7 million have been donated since January 2020 —and 380 thousand tons of food were collected and distributed.

“This shows how we can use technology to innovate in the fight against hunger and food insecurity. With this union between people and companies, we can give a better present and future to Brazilians who need it most”, says André Borges, head iFood's sustainability plan.

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