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Food: Prices

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 27th March 2020.

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Photo of Tan Dhesi Tan Dhesi Labour, Slough

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that food prices are affordable for consumers during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We have a highly resilient food supply chain and representatives of our leading supermarkets and throughout the supply chain are working to ensure that people have the food and products they need. The industry continues to monitor the situation closely and is taking necessary steps to address issues where they arise. Retailers are working hard to mitigate any disruption to their supply chains that could impact on their costs, to keep customer prices down as far as possible.

The Government is in regular engagement with industry leaders. We have already introduced a wide range of new measures to make sure businesses can continue to keep food supply flowing, such as relaxation of competition laws to allow retailers to work together to ensure stores are open and stocked. We have also extended delivery hours to supermarkets and are flexing rules on drivers’ hours for all sectors.

The Government does not set consumer food prices or comment on day-to-day commercial decisions by industry.

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