World food prices are at a new peak: the causes and consequences

The UN say that world food prices have hit a new peak, but what does this mean for us?

Charlotte Dredge
23rd November 2021
Image Credit: Pixabay - peter-facebook
The UN has reported that world food prices are at their highest in over a decade. This reflects a variety of issues including disruption to supplies, poor harvests and political tensions globally, which has led to a 30% price increase in the last year alone.

This inflation is predicted to disproportionately affect disadvantaged groups

Dairy goods, wheat products (such as pasta and cereal) and vegetable oil are amongst those most impacted. This echoes current production cuts, such as in Wheat from Iran, Turkey and the US.

This inflation is predicted to disproportionately affect disadvantaged groups, exacerbating global inequities, as many are at risk of being pushed further into poverty.

Countries reliant on imported goods will also be greater impacted. The UK imports more than 95% of its trade by sea, so current disruption to shipping is causing concern amongst the UK food sector surrounding Christmas demand, with shops already experiencing some shortages.

Sector bosses have also warned MPs of likely disruption into the festive season

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has also cited a shortage in migrant workers as compounding the trend. In the UK, demand for Lorry workers has already caused disruption for several months, with both Brexit politics and the pandemic undermining the ability for migrant workers to enter the country.

UKHospitality has told MPs that there are currently 10% vacancy rates within the sector, causing a quarter of hospitality businesses to reduce their trading hours. Sector bosses have also warned MPs of likely disruption into the festive season.

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