Food prices and Ireland
The control exercised by transnational agribusinesses, and the monopolies enjoyed by large supermarket chains, mean that Irish consumers have felt the effects of price hikes on basic foodstuffs, something of particular concern to the poorest sectors of society. In a 2007 SLÁN survey (Survey of Lifestyle, Attitudes and Nutrition), one in 25 respondents (4%) sometimes could not afford to buy enough food for their household. While the percentages in certain places in Latin America are much higher, there are people in our midst who know what it is like to go hungry. Prices may go up further. When a foodstuff like sugar, corn, palm oil (many of its uses are in edible products) or soybean goes up, it has a knock on effect in the price charged to the consumer for any of the foodstuffs in which they are ingredients.
That said, the percentage of our incomes we in Ireland spend on food has decreased since the 1950s and we are now working for less time to put food on our tables. Also, our food prices have not gone up in line with inflation. (Source: AgriAware Information from the charitable Agriculatural Awareness Trust). However, the true price for our comparitibely cheap and varied food supply is is not being paid by us, but by those who have been displaced by large export orientated farms in the developing world, the small farmers who no longer can make ends meet, the urban poor in the developing world who cannot pay for their staples as prices rise and the planet itself.