A new investigation into the price of food in the UK is being launched by lawmakers, who also want to know if the nation should grow more of its own food.
The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee will examine ideas presented in the government’s June food strategy policy document, including how global pressures are affecting people’s diets, against a backdrop of increased prices and disruption to global supply chains.
Some consumers have changed their purchasing patterns as a result of rising food prices, buying fewer items or switching to less expensive ones. More people are now turning to food banks for assistance as a result of it.
The situation could get worse because, according to the Institute of Grocery Distribution, food inflation could reach 15% in the near future.
The average cost of the key ingredients in a full English breakfast — bacon, eggs, sausages, bread, butter, mushrooms, tea and coffee, and milk — reached £31.46 in June, up 14.5% from a year earlier.
According to the government, domestic farmers provide 75% of the food consumed in the UK, excluding crops that cannot be cultivated in the country. Wheat and eggs are mostly locally produced in the country.
However, a large number of food products manufactured and consumed in the UK are still dependent on international supply networks that have been unstable as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the pandemic’s lingering impacts. After the Bank of England warned that the disruption would extend until 2023, the investigation will examine how these factors affect the availability of food in the UK.
The government is not responsible for all the problems affecting food supply chains but it is essential it does all it can to help manage these pressures as it implements its new food strategy, said Robert Goodwill, chair of EFRA.