DuPont announced an enhancement to the Global Food Security Index that captures the impact of changes in global food prices at the national level where price fluctuations are felt most directly.

Commissioned by DuPont and developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), the Price Adjustment Factor captures the impact of changing food prices and income growth over time.  In response to the rising cost of food, mainly in June of this year, the Index recorded a slight decline in food security globally. The interactive tool is available online at www.foodsecurityindex.eiu.com.

“This innovative, new tool is going to help us better understand the root causes of hunger,” said DuPont Executive Vice President James C. Borel. “The ramifications of this year's drought are far reaching.  Knowing where the impact is the greatest can help focus our collective efforts where they are needed most.”

The World Bank estimates that global food price spikes in 2008 pushed 44 million people below the poverty line globally, most of them in poor countries. In the United States, almost 15 percent of households experienced food insecurity in 2011, up 11 percent before recent price jumps.

“Many factors affect food prices, from rising demand in emerging markets to abrupt changes in the weather,” said EIU Global Forecasting Director Leo Abruzzese. “The new Price Adjustment Factor tool will assess, quarterly, the impact of price changes on a country’s ability to afford food. High and volatile prices can impact food security by limiting consumers’ purchasing power and calorie consumption.”

Drought: Commodity Prices Driver

Global weather and environmental issues, mainly drought, have challenged farmers in 2012 and have been linked to food security and an increase in agricultural commodity prices. Seventy eight percent of U.S. corn acres have been affected, some farmers can’t afford to feed livestock and the cost of commodities is at record highs. While this year’s drought has been devastating to farmers, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reported the 2nd largest corn crop globally, in addition to the 2nd and 3rd highest rice and soybean crops respectively.

Publically Available Tool Generates Insights about Future Price Fluctuations and Informs Action

The Global Food Security Index and its Price Adjustment Factor was created by the EIU with input and advice from leading international experts in agriculture and food policy.

The Global Food Security Index addresses the underlying factors of food insecurity in 105 countries and points to areas for improvement and reforms. The interactive tool is available online at http://www.foodsecurityindex.eiu.com  Features include:

  • A unique feature that captures the impact of changing food prices on each country’s ability to afford food.
  • Analysis of key findings.
  • Definition of 25 global indicators that measure specific aspects of food affordability, accessibility, availability, nutritional value and safety.
  • An interactive heat map of overall scores and detail of category results.
  • Adjustable weightings to allow for scenario planning.
  • The ability to compare multiple countries simultaneously and adjust rankings by indicators.
  • A country details page that allows a food-security drill down into individual economies.

“This tool increases the chances of creating sustainable, science-based innovations that target specific challenges, collaborating with others on solutions and bringing know-how to the people and places that need it most,” said Borel.