Breakfast Cereal Prices to Increase Due to Climate Change
By: The Atlantic May 29, 2014
The price of popular breakfast cereals is set to soar over the next 15 years as a result of climate change, argues a new report from Oxfam International.
If left unchecked, the effects of climate change on basic cropsólike rice, wheat, and cornócould drive up the cost of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes in the U.S. by up to 20 percent by 2030, according to Oxfam's analysis. Corn Flakes could also rise up to 30 percent in the U.S., and up to 44 percent in the UK, while the cost of General Mills' Kix cereal could go up by between 12 and 24 percent in the U.S. And that's on top of any other price increases due to inflation.
The new report, called "Standing on the Sidelines," also calls out what Oxfam dubs the "Big 10" food and beverage companies for not doing enough to combat climate change by cutting emissions from their agricultural supply chains and lobbying for governmental action.
Oxfam argues that warming is already having an impact on the American breakfast table. "In rich countries at the moment, we're starting to see the impacts in people's pockets, having to pay more for the products that they are used to consuming on a daily basis," says Oxfam's Tim Gore, one of the report's authors.
Staples like corn and rice will double in cost by 2030, with half of that increase due to climate change, according to the report. To estimate the impact this will have on the retail prices of specific products, Oxfam constructed a model using "historical grain and consumer product prices, product ingredient lists and nutrition labels, and historical examples of how rising commodity prices affect retail prices."