UK food prices are set to soar due to poor harvests caused by bad weather.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) reported a 15% drop on the five-year average in wheat yields in England due to the recent wet weather.
NFU combinable crops advisor Guy Gagen said: “We have seen a relatively low wheat yield this year, below seven tonnes per hectare. This is something not seen in the UK since the late 1980s. The abnormally high rainfall across the UK since early summer this year has depressed wheat yield.”
The increase in the price of wheat also has a knock-on effect on pig and poultry farmers who use it to feed their livestock. NFU president Peter Kendall said some livestock farmers will be cutting back on the number of animals they have. “The challenge for the pig and poultry market is trying to make sure that retailers pay a fair price, because in pigs 50% of the cost is grain, poultry it’s 60% - and these farmers at the moment, because the prices haven’t responded yet, they’re actually saying I’m not going to fill my sheds with poultry or pigs anymore,” he said.
Richard Dodd, of the British Retail Consortium, warned of future price increases: “Whilst retailers are certainly doing all they can to protect customers from the full impact, it will inevitably impact on shop prices.”