PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – Food prices are on the rise, with worldwide numbers reaching a level that hasn’t been seen in a decade.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’ food price index measures the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities. These items include cereal, vegetable oil, dairy, meat, and sugar.
For the month of September, the FAO food price index was 130 points, the highest it’s been since 2011 when it was 131.9 points.
Compared to 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor says prices for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs have increased 5.9 percent.
Food price increases have been linked to global supply challenges.
Kenneth Baker, a truck driving instructor at Illinois Central College, said factors including a backlog of shipping containers off the U.S. coast and a shortage of truck drivers have contributed to the struggles.
“We’ve got to go from the shore to the trucks, from the trucks to the warehouse, from the warehouse to the consumer. So without those drivers, that’s where we run into a shortage,” Baker said.
He also said the early stages of the pandemic hurt the ability to bring new drivers into the industry.
“During the pandemic, everything was shut down. So with everything being shut down, there was nobody to train, then we came back everything started to bottleneck. Once that bottleneck started, it was hard to play catch up,” Baker said.
Baker said at ICC, there are incentives for those interested in trucking, including stipends for classes.