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Food: Prices

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 6 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received on rising food prices internationally, with particular reference to staples such as rice; and if he will make a statement. (202581)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary is acutely aware of the impact of rising food prices globally. He understands this is a critical issue for both the global economy and the UK economy. To date my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not directly received international representations on the issue. However, global economic issues, and their interface with foreign policy, remain a key theme in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's (FCO) dialogue with partner governments and international institutions globally. Given the potential links between rising food prices and a number of foreign policy issues such as social stability, poverty reduction and conflict, the FCO will continue to monitor the situation closely. We are clear that an international solution is required and to that end my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has written to the chair of the G8 group of industrialised nations and the heads of relevant international organisations calling for co-ordinated action. The letter is available at: http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page15234.asp. FCO posts will keep discussing the situation regularly with key countries and international organisations.