One of the reasons why food prices have been rising so rapidly - £100 more for the average UK household budget in 2012 than in 2011 – is that banks and hedge funds are pouring millions of pounds of speculative money into food futures markets, pushing prices beyond the levels of supply and demand.
In poorer countries, where people often spend most of their incomes on food, price rises have and even greater impact, forcing people to go hungry.
Access to food is a human right, and banks should not be allowed to play havoc with food prices. New legislation to limit food speculation is on the table at the EU, and members of the Horsham Group of the World Development Movement, along with others across the country, have lobbied members of the European Parliament urging them to support this legislation.
The fact that George Osborne and his Treasury colleagues have so far blocked tough controls means that further actions are called for to try to ensure that the needs of hungry people at home and abroad are put before the profits of investment banks.
FRANK W. SMITH
Secretary, Horsham WDM Group, Church Road, Horsham