Multinational Barclays bank has been told by campaigners to end its gambling for huge profits in the world commodities market. The World Development Movement has made a special film to highlight the way in which the finance house cashes-in on rising prices.
Experts predict that betting on the cost of food will push prices through the roof, as has in the last three yers.
WDM says: "This is just plain wrong. We’ve teamed up with 'Don't Panic' to spoof the UK’s leading food speculator, Barclays, to show just how scandalous this is."
A spokesowman for the campaign's anti-poverty group adds: "The banks can be stopped. Right now there is a real opportunity to prevent speculation contributing to future food crises. In the coming months, Europe’s finance ministers will vote on new rules to stop speculators pushing up prices."
"But the UK government is firmly opposed to regulation and could scupper the vote. We need mass public pressure to change Chancellor George Osborne's mind."
The campaigners have urged the public to show Osborne that people in the UK public want him to vote for strong limits to tackle food speculation – and help prevent bankers betting on hunger.
Barclays has hinted it is considering pulling out of food speculation due to "reputational risk", showing that it is vulnerable to the sort of public opinion that forced tax dodgers Starbucks, the multinational coffee house chain, to pay mullions of pounds more in UK corporation tax.