Worse to come for food price rises, warns industry: “Relentless” increases in the price of food may not hit their peak until next year, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has warned. The industry group said it usually takes seven to 12 months for producers’ costs to reach shop shelves. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has accelerated manufacturing costs such as energy and fertiliser. FDF chief executive Karen Betts warned prices would “absolutely” get worse before they get better. Food and drink price inflation rose to 8.7% in the year to May, according to the Office for National Statistics. “I think the peak could well be into next year and that prices could well rise some way above 10%,” Betts told the BBC. The UK’s overall inflation rate hit 9.1% in May – its highest level for 40 years – and the Bank of England predicts it could reach 11% this year. Betts said food and drink manufacturers had already seen costs rise during the pandemic due to supply and labour shortages – but the Ukraine war has worsened the situation. “So, if it is costing more to plant and grow wheat or sunflowers for sunflower oil now then those price rises are going to take 12 months, perhaps longer to make their way into food prices in the UK,” she said.


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