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Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences/ Hogeschool Rotterdam

Assignment #1: Commodity Price Ceiling Of Staple Food Items - Policy And Legal Framework

Because of repeated natural or (man-made) disasters (flooding, droughts, hurricane, heat waves, wild fires, etc.) market prices of food commodities can increase or decrease. However, governments would want to keep food prices steady despite these market fluctuations. Thus, governments would have to/ can introduce a price ceiling program.

Looking at one praticular case for example Sint Maarten Dutch Caribbean, which is a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), that was hit with a hurricane in 2017, COVID-19 pandemic in 2019/20 and is facing hurricane season 2020 at this moment, see slides and MARKit pdf.  Introduce  policies and a legal framework for price ceiling by asking the following questions:

  • Give four examples of (mechanisms of) price ceiling on staple food items in Europe, United States or Canada,
  • Give four examples of (mechanisms of) price ceiling on staple food items in Africa, India or Asia,
  • Give three examples of (mechanisms of) price ceiling on staple food items in The Caribbean or Latin America,
  • How would a price ceiling on Sint Maarten Dutch Caribbean (SIDS) compare to price ceiling in the European Union (EU)?
  • Looking from a legal point of view (policy and legislature), what must the island government do to introduce a price ceiling on staple food items, see MARKit pdf chapter 5.7 Policies page 38? Research  mechanisms (or topics) of price ceiling on staple food items such as the following have to divided among the students in the group:
    • Food subsidy program (consumers),
    • Suppliers subsidy programs,
    • Product availability,
    • Effect on non-controlled, items,
    • Target groups,
    • Quality change in products,
    • Price gouging,
    • Black market,
    • Illegal product smuggling,
    • Buffer stock,
    • Rationing,
    • etc.
  • How would the island government fit such a price ceiling into a legal framework (that does not exist.)? (Assume there is no existing policy or legal framework and introduce such a framework for the government.) Under which ministry does a price ceiling fall on Sint Maarten? 
  • What could be the advantages or disadvantages of a price ceiling on staple food items from a legal stand point?
  • How would a  price ceiling on Sint Maarten Dutch Caribbean (SIDS) compare to price ceiling in the European Union (EU)?  What is Sint Maarten position within The Kingdom of The Netherlands? what is Sint Maarten’s relation to the European Union? How does the structure of the government compare to that of The Netherlands and Europe Union?   
  • HINT: when searching use search terms like: “price ceilings food items in the Caribbean”, “price ceilings vegetables in the Caribbean”,

    “price ceilings potatoes”, etc.. Change “Caribbean” to “United States” or “Africa” or “Europe” etc. and change “vegetables” to any food item(s) (eggs, wheat, bread, grain, corn, etc.) in the slides or whatever you have in mind.

  • HINT: use additional search terms such as “price ceilings/floor food policy Europe”. Change Caribbean to United States, Canada, Africa or Asia etc. and change “policy” to  “policy response to disaster(s)”,  “transportation”, “subsidy”, “fuel costs”, “subsidy programs”,  “food security”, “United Nations programs”, “mechanisms”, “advantages and disadvantages”  (see slides) or whatever you have in mind.

  • Final Report should/can have the following layout:
    • Introduction
    • See Assessments 1 & 2 (from your teacher)
    • Acknowledgements which is the Assignment Distribution: Overview of students contribution to report (who did which chapter(s) and topics)
    • Chapter 1 & 2 : Student 1 & Topics
    • Chapter 3 & 4 : Student 2 & Topics
    • Chapter 5 & 6 : Student 3 & Topics
    • Chapter 7 & 8 : Student 4 & Topics
    • etc.
    • References

Assignment should at least be (4 students x 8 pages = ) 32 pages per group, excluding cover, foreword, table of contents, images and tables. Reference all literature that is used to write the report. Contact information is mentioned below and when sending a email please mention in the following order: (1) title of assignment,  (2) student name, (3) student number