UK 'unprepared' for food price hikes and shortages
According to Ian Wright, the head of the UK government advisory body, the country is not ready for a surge in food prices. The official is highly concerned that the British government has no proper plan to cope with a “scary” future of food price hikes and shortages of essential goods, The Independent notes.
The protracted Russia-Ukraine conflict is seen as the main reason for potential disrupted food supplies. "This is a bigger crisis than energy," Wright warned. According to The Independent, a blockade of Black Sea ports has left 25 million tonnes of grain stuck in Ukraine. Thus, serious food supply chain disruptions threaten to push most countries, especially the poorest ones, into starvation. Moreover, a possible food crisis will affect the UK as it is dependent on food imports.
"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," Ian Wright said. Some people involved with the food industry in the UK believe that this issue requires focus from the authorities and must be urgently addressed. "If the government has plans, it needs to share what those plans are more widely," the head of the UK government advisory body added.
Earlier, Britain's environment minister George Eustice recommended that citizens opt for lower-priced goods instead of branded ones, citing a spike in prices. According to the official, shop prices were up 2.7% on an annual basis, notching their highest level in 11 years.