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The Worst of Britain’s Food Cost Crisis Is Yet to Come

Numerous advisory bodies say the government is simply not ready for the full brunt of what Russia’s attack on Ukraine means for supermarkets and restaurants

Grocery Prices Reflect Rising Cost Of Living In UK
A basket of groceries.
Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Former head of the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) Ian Wright has joined farming and supermarket unions in branding the government “unprepared” for a further soar in food prices and food shortages.

Wright said that the continued twin impact of rising inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will cause “a bigger crisis” than that affecting energy prices. “I don’t think the government has fully grasped the implications of all this. Things could get quite scary, with significant price rises and in terms of food poverty,” he said.

Other food organisations that have spent the last three years warning of accelerated food poverty owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and government policy on Universal Credit are similarly concerned. Both the National Farmers Union (NFU) and FareShare, a food redistribution charity, said that government inaction — including blocking the emergency appointment of a Minister of Food Poverty — could have dire consequences. With food prices in supermarkets and wholesale costs for restaurants already soaring, the worst of the crisis looks like it is yet to come.

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