The End for Cheap Food

UK - The era of cheap food may be over.
calendar icon 2 January 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

According the the British Meat and Livestock Commission, in recent months food prices have risen at a faster rate than inflation, but meat prices have risen less than those for other commodities.

In October 2007, it was an increase in vegetable and fresh milk prices that contributed most to a five per cent annual rise in overall food prices.

However, meat was only two per cent more expensive than a year earlier.

Higher prices for poultry and processed meat products compared with 2006 offset lower prices for beef and lamb.

The combined agricultural costs of production between January and September this year were six per cent higher than a year ago.

Higher grain costs have pushed up feed costs for livestock producers, and rising oil prices are now starting to filter through to producers' energy costs.

The MLC Economic Department said that higher food prices are not unique to the UK: in September the world food price index was a third higher than a year ago. As well as tight world grain supplies impacting on agricultural commodity prices, higher petrol prices, increased freight charges and exchange rate movements are also influencing prices.

These are just some of the observations made in a special feature on food price inflation in the December issue of Meat Demand Trends, a quarterly publication produced by MLC Economics' team of analysts. Contact Jayne Dines on 01908 844396 for details or email [email protected].

This publication is part of a wide portfolio of publications and services produced for the red meat industry by MLC Economics. For further details go to

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