Journal of Food Security
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Journal of Food Security. 2014, 2(1), 1-12
DOI: 10.12691/jfs-2-1-1
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Food Economic Accessibility and Affordability in the Mediterranean Region: an Exploratory Assessment at Micro and Macro Levels

Roberto Capone1, , Hamid El Bilali1, Philipp Debs1, Gianluigi Cardone1 and Noureddin Driouech1

1International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM), Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari, Italy

Pub. Date: December 29, 2013

Cite this paper:
Roberto Capone, Hamid El Bilali, Philipp Debs, Gianluigi Cardone and Noureddin Driouech. Food Economic Accessibility and Affordability in the Mediterranean Region: an Exploratory Assessment at Micro and Macro Levels. Journal of Food Security. 2014; 2(1):1-12. doi: 10.12691/jfs-2-1-1


Food access is one of the food security pillars. Food security encompasses physical and economic access to food. For most Mediterranean people affordability is a key factor determining access to food. Food affordability is dependent not only on food cost but also on the disposable income that can be spent on food. The paper aims at analysing food accessibility and affordability at household and country levels in the Mediterranean region. The paper uses secondary data from different sources (e.g. FAO, World Bank, the Economist, LABORSTA) to analyse the trends of different indicators: food affordability; food consumer price index; household food expenditure; cereals imports dependency; and Values of food imports over total merchandise exports. In March 2013, food affordability score of the Global Food Security Index ranged from 34.8 in to 86.5 in . The share of food consumption expenditure in total household expenditure is high e.g. 67.3% in and 43.9% in . During the period 2005-2011, the highest increase of the FAO food consumer price index was recorded in followed by and . FAO consumer cereal price index increased more than meat price index in the period 2004-2012. Cereals import dependency is high in all Mediterranean Arab countries; up to 80% in drought years in . In the and more than four-fifths of merchandise exports are dedicated to food imports. In the period 1990-92/2008-10, the coverage of food imports with total exports deteriorated especially in the , and . Adequate and consistent economic access to safe, nutritious and high quality food, even in times of crisis, is a prerequisite for achieving sustainable food and nutrition security in the . However, accessible and affordable diets should not be taken for granted in the Mediterranean region.

food accessibility food affordability food security household expenditure price index Mediterranean region

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