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 7.4% record food inflation in UK


[b]7.4% record food inflation in UK [/b]

Licensees are facing annual food inflation of 7.4% this year – the fastest rate of increase since records began in 1992.
The figure is three times the headline rate of inflation, also known as the retail price index (RPI).

The price rises come as many pub operators feel they are unable to increase menu prices for customers in the current climate.

Rising food prices are being offset by shopping around for cheaper products, but some increases, such as a sharp rise in the cost of cooking oil, can’t be avoided.

Prices of dairy products have increased by 15% over the last year – more than seven times RPI – while pea prices have soared between 15% and 20%.

Global shortages

The increases are being driven by global shortages in key crops, caused by adverse weather, the demand created by China and India’s rapid economic growth and rising fuel and labour costs.

A spokesman for food service distributor Brakes said: “It’s pretty much across the board.

"Meat and poultry prices have gone up because of grain costs, mainly due to a poor Australian harvest, and dairy prices have leapt as the Chinese have started to adopt a more Western diet.”

Last summer’s bad weather and flooding severely damaged the UK onion crop, with some growers reporting a 50% drop in yield due to rotting.

Prices of frozen peas have shot up after Gloucestershire, which grows the majority of the British pea crop, was devastated by the summer floods.

Processed Vegetable Growers Association commercial manager Tim Mudge said pea harvests in 2007 were 40% lower in volume than expected. Prices being paid to growers have risen 15% to 20%, while there have also been price rises for other vegetables.

Mudge said: “Demand is outstripping supply and that means prices have to go up.”

read more: http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/news_detail.aspx?articleid=56393


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