Food Monitor aims to be an early warning system that uses close to real-time information to track global food price and supply risks at the early stages of development, and immediately communicate this information so that relevant actors can intervene to mitigate or reduce the effects of food insecurity in developing countries before it occurs.
In the future we aim to improve our understanding and accuracy of emerging food security risks. We will do this by including more local and geographically disaggregated information, so that we can better pin-point emerging risks and then better inform decision-making.
Hunger worldwide has decreased but the causes of hunger have become even more complex. Conflict and war, climate change and disturbed markets are some factors that when combined with poverty and deficient production, become major causes of hunger. Extreme price movements of staple commodities within international food markets have devastating consequences particularly for poor people. In fact, over 40 countries worldwide experienced food shortages during the 2007/08 food crisis.
Food Monitor uses a traffic light system that processes information innovatively to ensure food price risks are more visible at the early stages of development, which then enables the taking of action through early interventions. By using close to real-time information, Food Monitor provides price information on international markets and their transmission to local markets for major staple commodities, while informing about the global supply situation at the same time.
Prof. von Braun, Director at the Center for Development Research, explains that “Food Monitor is the result of scientific analysis and uses the opportunities of modern information technology”. Food Monitor not only captures the important risk information, but communicates it via a direct and automatic connection with Twitter, meaning alerts and updates on the latest risks are available and communicated immediately.