In developed countries, talk of food safety regulations centers on public health – how to prevent outbreaks of food-borne illness and ensure high quality, nutritious food. For developing countries, though, increasing food safety regulations in food-importing countries can have significant economic implications as well. On the one hand, complying with higher food safety standards can be prohibitively costly, making it difficult for small farmers to access lucrative, high-value markets.

The June edition of the FAO Monthly News Report on Grains was released today. The report covers ongoing global and regional trends in grain prices and policies. This month's edition covers global grain stocks at a 15 year high, the potential impact of changing weather patterns on wheat production, and Brazil's proposed tariff-free wheat import quota.

The FAO Food Price Index for May was released yesterday and is down 2.5 points from April, and nearly 7 points from May 2013. This is the second decline in a row, following the ten-month high reached in March. The decline is driven mostly by lower dairy, cereals, and vegetable oils prices.

The May edition of the FAO Monthly News Report on Grains was released last week. The report covers ongoing global and regional trends in grain prices and policies. This month's edition covers above-average US wheat sales, increased wheat production expectations in India, and the impact that El Nino could have on crops.

So-called "food riots" have gotten a lot of attention in recent years, but what role do food and food prices actually play in violent demonstrations and conflicts? The May issue of the World Bank Food Price Watch finds that the relationship between food and violence takes several forms, involving not only food prices but also food supplies and competition over agricultural and infrastructure resources.

Food prices spiked in March, according to the latest FAO Food Price Index, released this week. The Index rose 4.8 points from February and is at its highest level since May 2013. The increase is due largely to poor weather and continuing unrest in the Black Sea region. Cereal and sugar prices gained the most this month.

In the sharpest rise seen since mid-2012, the FAO Food Price Index increased by 5.2 points, or 2.6 percent, in February. The rebound was driven by rising prices across all sectors of the Index, with the exception of meat. Despite this rise, however, the February Index remained 2.1 percent lower than one year ago.

The latest FAO Food Price Index was released on January 9, citing a slight drop from December. At 203.4 points, the Index was 4.4 percent lower than its January 2013 level.

The Cereal Price Index also dropped by 3 points in January, down a full 56 points from its January 2013 level. This decline can be attributed largely to bumper cereal crops and subsequent large export supplies, which helped reduce prices from the highs seen in 2012 and 2013.

The latest FEWS Net Monthly Price Watch was released this week, citing stable international maize, rice, and wheat prices in December. Maize prices were over 30 percent lower than their December 2012 levels; global maize stocks are expected to hit their highest levels in over a decade due to near-harvest records in the United States, high stocks in South America, and decreasing overall use estimates.

The latest FAO Food Price Index was released yesterday, remaining virtually unchanged from October at 206.3 points. The Index is 4.4 percent below its November 2012 level.

The Cereals Index dropped two points in November, and is a full 24 percent lower than it was in November 2012. This year's record cereals crop is the main driver of this reduction in cereals prices, particularly for wheat, maize, and rice.