Industrial Harvest


bread and riots by sarah kavage
September 12, 2010, 9:59 pm
Filed under: Commodities trading, project updates, the wheat market

Hey, wow, the last post was dated August 9.  Has it really been that long?  I do apologize…in the mania of leaving Chicago, going back to Seattle, alley weddings, other art installations, trying to catch some of the last summer weather, returning to Chicago, trying to set up a ton of events, and then leaving yet again to visit my folks back in Ohio (from whence this post is dispatched) – well heck, I just got sidetracked.

The food riots in Mozambique last week are a little bit of an old story by now, but the increase in wheat prices caused a 30 percent increase in the price of bread there.  Speculation on the Board of Trade is implicated in the price runup – the article above suggests that investors may have turned to commodities due to low interest rates and a volatile stock market.  The quote in the final sentence of the article  is worth a reprint:  “We are going to have much bigger fluctuations in weather and therefore the food supply than we had in the past, so we are going to have to learn how to cope with fluctuating food prices.”

The government of Mozambique coped by reducing bread prices (which are set by their government, so it’s too bad people had to riot before this happened).  The reductions in the price of bread were paid for by (among other measures) reducing compensation for the chairmen of the boards of public companies (that sentence is a grammatical nightmare, sorry).

In other news closer to home, check out the updated Industrial Harvest events listings for fall.  There’s a lot of great stuff on deck, including two weeks of programming at Mess Hall starting this Wednesday, the 14th.  There’s more that’s being added to the calendar for the weekend of the 18th too, so take another look in a couple of days – we’re working out some last scheduling details.  Hope to see you there!

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