Price of food rises dramatically in the UK


Food Basket

An official Government report has revealed that food prices in Britain have risen at twice the rate of the rest of Europe during the last three years.

In the three years up till June 2010 the cost of food has gone up by 8.1 percent in Britain, which is twice as much as Europe in general, and 2.7 times more than France.

The report conducted by the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) discovered that worldwide food inflation has hit the UK a lot harder than its European neighbours.

Begining in 2007, food prices have steadily increased, eggs have jumped up in price by 43 percent, butter by 43 percent, pork by 36 percent, cheese by 27 percent, milk by 26 percent and beef by 23 percent.

Andrew Simms, policy director at the new economics foundation, said: “I'm not entirely surprised by these figures. Britain has a very concentrated food retailing market and historically the supermarkets have enjoyed far higher profit margins than rivals around the world.”

The report by DEFRA cites the Euro/Pound exchange rate as a reason for the pricing contrast, also Britain grows few of its own foodstuffs and relies heavily on imports. 2009 saw the Pound becoming 23 percent weaker than the Euro, which in turn increased the price of imported foodstuffs.

Despite this seemingly poor contrast some people argue that it was inevitable as Britian used to have some of the cheapest food found anywhere. Julian Hunt of the Food and Drink Federation said: “Yes, it may have come as a shock but that's only because shoppers had got used to a decade of continually falling prices for their weekly shop.”