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High food prices must be cut - Cosatu

By Namhla Tshisela | Oct 19, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

COSATU has called on the government to put measures in place to tackle increasing food prices.

Cosatu members handed a memorandum to the Ministry of Agriculture in Parliament yesterday in protest against high food prices.

Spokesperson Tony Ehrenreich said the union was concerned that prices for basic foods such as bread and milk had not gone down despite global trends. The world commemorated World Food Day on Friday.

The union said the day served as a reminder that the "world can produce enough food to feed all human beings. Millions experience regular hunger owing to profit driven food production, processing, procurement and distribution distortions".

"We believe the way to a successful rural development strategy should be anchored in food security at rural household level," Ehrenreich said.

The union said small scale subsistence farming was crucial to "reduce the ration of food purchased" in impoverished communities.

It also criticised the production of food for fuel and called for food packaging to indicate the use of genetically modified organisms.

Cosatu also called for the arrest of chief executives of companies involved in food price fixing.

The UN's World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that hunger affects more than one billion people around the world. According to the WFP, factors such as the global economic slowdown, high food prices, increased competition for products that produce energy, and severe droughts due to climate change contribute to the large number of hungry people worldwide.


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