People will have to get used to the high food prices, warns the boss of Kraft Heinz.
While the world’s population is increasing, the amount of land on which to grow food does not, Miguel Patricio reportedly argued.
But in the long term, “there is much more to come in technology to improve the effectiveness of farmers” which will help, he said. BBC, adding: “I think it’s up to us, and for the industry, and for other companies to try to reduce these price increases.”
While the UK is facing a cost of living crisis, seeing a record rise in inflation in August, it is not the only one facing high prices, with the coronavirus pandemic severely impacting global supply chains.
In contrast to recent years, Mr Patricio said, inflation is “across the board”, adding that Kraft Heinz – the world’s fifth largest food and beverage firm – is “raising prices around the world, where necessary”. .
This week, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said global food prices have hit a 10-year high.
Disruptions in food production, shipping and transportation during the pandemic have resulted in renewed demand, pushing up prices. Global energy prices are also rising, and costs are rising.
“Especially in the UK, with a shortage of truck drivers,” Mr Patricio said, “US logistics costs have also increased significantly, and some sectors of the economy have labor shortages”.
Various supermarket owners in the UK – facing the twin blows of Brexit and the pandemic – have recently warned of worsening conditions for consumers, such as rising prices and empty shelves.
The former head of the Food and Drink Federation warned last month that these shortages were likely to be “permanent”, suggesting that labor shortages had killed the “just-in-time” delivery model.
Downing Street has dismissed this, however, with Boris Johnson’s spokesman saying: “We have highly resilient food supply chains that have coped very well with the challenges we face and we believe will remain so.”
Despite rising food and energy prices, the government has moved forward with scrapping the £20-a-week universal debt levy introduced during the pandemic.
The cut – which was implemented on assessment Wednesday and will take effect next week – was described by the anti-poverty Joseph Rowntree Foundation as “the largest overnight cut in Social Security’s basic rate since World War II”. It is expected to affect six lakh people.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /