Food prices hit highest point in almost 50 years

Britain’s cost-of-living crisis is set to tighten as food prices soared to their highest level since 1975.

BCA Research economists warned that rising freight, fertiliser and fuel costs would keep food bills up until 2023.

It comes as multinationals including Unilever and Nestlé made “inflation-justified” price increases to stay ahead of inflation.

Pressure on fertiliser prices is likely to intensify this winter after gas costs almost tripled amid a global shortage.

READ MORE: Consumers should expect higher food prices, warns Heinz boss

UN economist Abdolreza Abbassian told The Telegraph that food producers “cannot afford to have a bad year ahead”.

“The big worry now is … what could be on the horizon for production in 2022 for crops that heavily depend on inputs, such as fertilisers,” he said.

Supply chain chaos, soaring fertiliser prices, higher shipping costs and labour shortages have combined to inflate global food bills.

Kantar data shows food inflation in Britain reached a 14-month high of 2.1 per cent in October.

Experts warned that persistently high costs are forcing grocers to pass on costs to shoppers.

Professor Wyn Morgan, from the University of Sheffield, said: “They cannot hold consistently rising costs all the time; it does start to affect their bottom line.

“They’re in a good position at the moment but that won’t last forever. If it is that continually elevated level, there needs to be an adjustment.”

The UN estimates that the cost of global food imports will rise by 12 per cent to $1.7 trillion this year, with poorer countries bearing the brunt of the increase.

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