Why climate change may ruin breakfast

A new report out Tuesday says climate change might increase the price of Kellogg's Corn Flakes by 30 percent in the next 15 years.

The Oxfam study draws from the recent slew of reports released by the Obama administration and the United Nations to argue that climate change will hike prices on raw agricultural goods.


Oxfam estimates that changing weather patterns like hurricanes and drought could drive up grain prices, which will hurt the retail price of Kellogg's Corn Flakes in the U.S. by roughly 30 percent and about 40 percent in the United Kingdom.

The report cites a statement by Kellogg's to the Carbon Disclosure Project last year in which the company notes the growing risks inflicted by climate change.

Kellogg's said that could raise prices for both Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes.

"As a company dependent on a consistent supply of agricultural raw materials, Kellogg is exposed to potential risks associated with changes in weather patterns and their impacts on the growing cycle," Kellogg's states. "These issues could have impact on our global supply chain."

General Mills's Kix cereal could increase in price by up to 24 percent by 2030, Oxfam says.

The real problem, Oxfam says, isn't that Frosted Flakes will go up in price. It's that the same root problem will lead to wider hunger and poverty.

The report says the "Big 10" food and beverage companies are both contributing to and left exposed to climate change.

Oxfam calls on all of the top 10 companies, which include Kellogg's, General Mills, Coco-Cola, Nestle, Unilever and PepsiCo, to more aggressively adopt policies to act on climate change.

"Too many of today’s food and beverage giants are crossing their fingers and hoping that climate change won’t disrupt the food system,” said Raymond C. Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America. “The ‘Big 10’ food companies generate over $1 billion a day and have great power to influence global food chains. If the companies who profit most from a safe and reliable food supply won’t help stop the climate crisis, who will?”

Oxfam estimates that the top 10 companies emit roughly 263.7 billion tons of greenhouse gases, which come from production of agricultural materials.