Food Policy – milk and dairy products Abstract The rapid growth of world population has created unprecedented level of demand for food products all over the world. The crisis is phenomenal and global. It is now a grave matter of concern not only for undeveloped countries but also for developed countries…
Introduction With the never ending growth of world population there has been steady increase in the demand for food. Also in the last few decades there has been growth in harvest, increase in income of human beings and introduction of variety of dietary disciplines. In 2000, the ratio of demand and supply was such there was a decline in food prices. However, from 2004 onwards prices of most food grains began to rise although there has been growth of production. This is because the rapid increase of global population leads to demand of food that far exceeds its production. The piles of food stocks became depleted, and then in 2005, those countries whose primary occupation is agriculture were seriously affected by extreme weather conditions which hampered food production in those countries. The production of cereal all over the world had fallen by 2.1 percent by 2006. Then there was a steep increase of oil prices in 2007 which increased the costs of fertilizers and other associated costs of food production. All these had a devastating effect on the world population especially those sections of the population who are financially vulnerable. As the prices of food reached record breaking high levels, every country resorted to all possible means to protect themselves from the potential crises like scarcity of food supplies and further increases of production costs. Countries who are major exporters of food began to impose restrictions on exports to check the flow of food outside the boundaries. On the other hand major food importing countries began to purchase food from the global market at any available prices. All these factors resulted in creating panic and instability in the international grain markets. This also encourages investors to put their money in grain futures and options markets. For all these reasons, there was further steady increase of food prices. In the subsequent years, a trend was observed that led to apparent stabilization of prices of food items. But even then prices are expected to remain in the high or medium range thus providing no promise of relief to the poorer populations (Global issues: food, n.d.). Food policies in every country must focus on controlling the price of food to make essential food items accessible to even the poorest segment of world population. Food items that have universal demand among population of all ages are milk and dairy products, hence the objective of food policies should be to ensure safe and hygienic production, transportation, packaging and distribution of milk. The purpose of this paper is to define the parameters of food policy in the global scenario with special emphasis on milk and dairy products. Definition of food policy Food policy can be defined as a set or sets of plans of actions to accomplish certain purposes related to food products. Although governments play a vital role in designing and implementation of food policies, nevertheless the contribution and responsibility of the private sectors and civilian societies are no less important. Food policies essentially create definite goals to be achieved for the food system and its different stages of food production and distribution. The various stages range from availability of natural resources, production of food, processing, marketing and consumption of food. Food policies also focus on ...
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