Food: Prices

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 1 June 2023.

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Photo of Lord Cruddas Lord Cruddas Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that food remains affordable in the UK, particularly for those who are most disadvantaged.

Photo of Lord Benyon Lord Benyon The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We continue to monitor food prices using the ONS inflation figures. The recent increase in food price inflation is driven by higher utility prices and pressures on global supply chains that are being felt globally. Industry analyst expectations are that we are either at or approaching the food price inflation peak. They then expect food price inflation to gradually decrease over the remainder of 2023.

Defra is taking action to maintain an efficient food supply chain by mitigating against any potential burdens or friction which could otherwise drive-up consumer food prices. Through regular engagement, Defra will continue to work with food retailers and producers to explore the range of measures they can take to ensure the availability of affordable food. For example, by maintaining value ranges, price matching and price freezing measures. It is not for HM Government to set retail food prices nor to comment on day-to-day commercial decisions by companies. Rising food prices are dependent on a combination of factors including agri-food import prices, domestic agricultural prices, domestic labour and manufacturing costs

The Government understands the pressures people are facing with the current exceptionally high cost of living. To protect the most vulnerable from the worst of cost-of-living pressures, the Chancellor recently announced a package of targeted support worth £26 billion, which includes continued support for rising energy bills.

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