Between early 2007 and mid-2008, global food prices increased by more

than fifty percent. For people living in poverty in developing countries,

who might spend sixty to eighty percent of their income on food, such a

severe increase was devastating. The debilitating price increases resulted

in food riots across over forty developing nations. Although food prices

have fallen considerably since that period, they are still substantially higher

than 2005 levels. Thus, in a March 2009 interview with the Financial

Times, Jacques Diouf, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture

Organization of the United Nations, stated that the "food crisis is not


Dizzying price volatility and ensuing street demonstrations motivated

policymakers to enact various new measures. For example, India

introduced "draconian export restrictions" on rice and Argentina

"attempted to expand export taxes," both of which contributed to the price

increases. Such panicked attempts at addressing the food crisis highlight

the need for reasoned, comprehensive governance reforms to ensure global

food security. The Global Food Crisis: Governance Challenges and

Opportunities, a collection of essays based on a December 2008 workshop

held at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, presents

individual authors' perspectives on causal factors influencing the food

crisis, immediate governance challenges arising from increased food prices,

long-term ecological issues associated with current global food systems,

and potential strategies to enhance food security in the future.