‘Famously expensive’ farm store is sold at £10,000 a week
Farmers and shoppers in the UK are facing a new problem as supermarkets are selling at a “famously pricey” price.
According to figures from the Farmland Price Index (FPI), a website run by the National Farmers Union, a store in Bury St Edmunds, Bournemouth, costs a whopping £10.8 million a year, and a local supermarket in Birmingham sells the same for £7.5 million.
“It’s a massive rise, it’s a huge rise,” said Andrew Evans, a spokesperson for the FPI.
“It means that in a country where people are getting a real sense of the economic cost of the food they buy, they’re really buying more food.”
He said the figures, which are based on the purchase of produce in the same area of the country, showed that supermarkets were “increasingly going to be paying a premium to sell to people in rural areas”.
In a statement, the National Union of Farmers (Nuf) said that the price hike was due to “further restrictions imposed by government” on the supply of food in the country.
In December, farmers in the Borders region of the North East of England received an official warning that “significant supply constraints” were expected as a result of the new restrictions.
A spokeswoman for the government said: “It is clear that food prices have risen by up to 30 per cent in the last three years, and farmers are now facing increasing competition from supermarket stores and local market stalls, which also drive up prices.”
The price of produce is also increasing in England, where farmers are facing “an unprecedented challenge to ensure their food security and profitability”, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
According to the Fpi, the average price of a pound of wheat in England rose from £1.50 in 2013 to £2.40 in 2018.
While the price of apples is rising as well, this is due to increased prices for local produce and less demand from supermarkets.
The government’s response to the rising price of food is a further cut to food subsidies.
In March 2018, the government announced that it would reduce the amount that farmers receive for the first two years of the FFP, to £1,300 from £3,400, and for the third year, to $3,100 from $4,900.
The FPI says that the government’s cuts are “an extreme measure” because it is “unlikely to have a long-term impact on the value of the crops”.
The Fpi says that although there is a lack of information on what will happen in future years, it is likely that “the UK will face a situation of limited supply and the price rises are likely to continue”.
The Department for Education said it was “working to support local and regional schools by increasing the amount of money available to school governors”.
“This includes ensuring that the FIP will continue to be available and that it will continue, at least in some form, to help schools fund their food budget,” the department said.
The government has also pledged to invest more in food security, with the government pledging to increase food security grants by £10 million in 2018-19 and £20 million in 2019-20.