Our staple foods such as bread, potatoes, milk and meat may be in shorter supply than usual this year and prices to consumers may have to rise. Farmers say this is the cost of the 2 month drought and heatwave across the UK.
Whilst it is difficult to say exactly what price rises may come, the NFU say farmgate prices are likely to increase. Retailers will have to decide whether to pass on such rises to consumers.
Anand Dossa, economist at the NFU, said early indications were that harvesting for staples such as grains was taking place early, but it was too early to say exactly what the yields would be. “These are challenging conditions, and we would expect to see an effect,” he said. He added that sheep meat production was down 16% this year. Following the year’s wet and cold spring, many livestock farmers have had to dip into their stores of winter feed early, said Robert Martin, who keeps a 120-strong herd of dairy cattle near Carlisle. “Milk yields are down because of the conditions,” he added. “People are coming to market early with cattle because they can’t afford to carry passengers.”