Gates, Ford, Kellogg Families Target Food to Ease Unrest

Monday, May 9, 2011

Foundations supported by Bill Gates and the Ford, Kellogg and Walton families are combining to relieve stresses on the food supply that are pushing prices higher and adding to unrest around the globe.

Their initiative, called AGree, announced in Washington, will fund agricultural research and analysis that will consider the needs of rural economies and the environment as well as energy and health issues as the world population surges by 38 percent over the next four decades, the foundations said today in a statement.

“Food policy is too important just to be left to people in the food industry,” said former U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, one of the long-term initiative’s leader. “For too long, food and farm policy have been related to a narrow range of interests.”

Costlier food has contributed to riots across northern Africa and the Middle East that toppled leaders in Egypt and Tunisia. Higher prices also helped drive 44 million people into poverty in the past year and another 10 million may join them should a United Nations food index rise another 10 percent, the World Bank said April 16.

Source: Bloomberg News (link opens in a new window)