With rising prices of fruits, vegetables and dairy products, the situation can worsen in the upcoming months.
The National farmers union (NFU) has warned that the UK is facing a major food supply crisis and that immediate action must be taken to control the damage in the next few months.
According to the union, energy-intensive crops like tomatoes, cucumbers and pears have been affected the most, with the lowest yields since 1985.
Prices of milk and dairy products are also expected to drop below the cost of production, mainly due to rising fuel, feed and fertilizers prices.
In the case of eggs, several issues like the avian flu, supply issues and cost of production, have resulted in its scarcity. This shortage could also affect other food products, considering the rise in energy costs and animal feed.
The union mentioned that the UK has lost close to 7000 agricultural businesses since 2019. £60m worth of food was left unattended at farms this year, resulting in fresh fruits and vegetables rotting.
With the Ukraine war in place, prices of fertilizers have tripled this year, as compared to 2019.
Due to the ongoing inflation, both consumers and businesses have been severely affected. An increase in prices of basic food items like milk, cheese and eggs has now led to fewer people visiting local markets.
A worker from a local supermarket in Kenton, who wanted to remain anonymous, added that people prefer to grow crops on their own, rather than purchasing them from supermarkets. He mentioned how people now rely on discounts and bargains due to the soaring prices of basic food items.
Nevertheless, food price inflation came down by 0.1% as compared to the month of November, when it was at a record high of 14.6%.
NFU representatives have mentioned that the government needs to give priority to food security. Failure to do so will lead to greater issues in production and the UK would then have to rely on imports from other countries.
The union has also urged the government to remove the cap on overseas workers in order to deal with the food shortage issue so that more produce can be made domestically.
Additionally, it has also asked the government to bring 15,000 seasonal workers so as to help pick crops in the UK.
With Christmas and New Year’s approaching, it is going to be increasingly difficult for citizens to deal with this issue. A solid food security plan must be put into place, so as to slowly rise above the food scarcity issue.