With the Menu Fresh Market Report hope to highlight some of the issues that affect prices, and unfortunately in recent months this has often meant explaining rising prices.
AF, a procurement cooperative operating across 3,000 UK farms, has published its “Interim Aginflation Index” which reveals the cost of farming inputs has increased by an eye-watering 23.28% in just six months to the end of March 2022.
This comes on top of a rise of 22% in the previous year to September 2021. Over the same period the Retail Price Index, showing what consumers pay for food, rose by just 5.6%.
By far the largest cost increases have been in fertilisers, fuel and animal feed, exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.
This means farmers are faced with increasing costs, whilst supermarkets are not increasing the price they pay as quickly, putting food producers under incredible strain.
Unless farmers are paid a fair price for their produce many will be forced out of business.
As if news wasn’t bad enough for farmers, a report from The Grocer states that there is “seasonal worker shortages of up to 75%” which has sparked concern that there will not be enough labour available to pick crops this year. These issues are said to be caused by delays in processing visas, leaving some producers with just 25% of the workforce that had originally planned for the harvest.
Despite these issues, the business of getting food on to the plate continues, and below are some seasonal highlights.