Global food costs have risen to a 10-year high, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Reduced harvests and supply chain issues have helped push up prices. The agency recorded a 10% increase in vegetable oil prices in October and a 22% increase in cereal prices. “We’ve had pretty bad years [of harvests] in a lot of places,” says Peter Batt, an agribusiness expert at Curtin Business School.

Labor shortages and shipping delays are also contributing to the rise of production and transportation costs of food in other parts of the world. “The other problem is getting the product out. For example, here in Australia, we’ve had a lot of ships arrive to take the food away, but we can’t get a crew to come in because of Covid” Mr. Batt said. The cost of dairy products rose almost 16% over the last year. Brigit Busicchia from Macquarie University noted that rising food prices are typically felt most severely by the poor, as many households are pushed deeper into poverty and that this could raise social and political issues. “Expect countries like Egypt or other Middle Eastern countries to experience tensions in their provisioning of cereals,” she said.