Britain is about to experience a food shortage, thanks to rising costs of farming due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Farmers around the world are feeling the price hikes, as it becomes increasingly difficult to produce enough food because of fertilizer and other commodity prices.
This doesn’t just affect growing vegetables, the grains used to feed animals are also on the decline and could be reaching extreme stress levels very shortly, spurred on by a recent rash of “bird flu” in the U.S and apparent arson attacks on factories.
Many farmers are simply being pushed out of the industry and have done so for some years now, as the European Union has dominated the market, and major supermarkets are not willing to pay more than just breaking even for farmers. It is simply not worth the effort.
The Daily Mail has reported that Britain has already experienced significant shortages, namely sunflower oil which was grown and produced almost entirely in Russia and Ukraine and that other food items will likely follow suit shortly.
Tim Lang, a food policy professor, told the Daily Mail, “We are talking about rationing sunflower oil today, but it could be other products soon,” adding, “The Ukraine crisis is piling on the agony and reminding us – and the Government – that we cannot assume supermarket shelves will always be full,”
The publication noted that grain, white fish and meats are also likely to be vulnerable.
Food security expert and professor Erik Millstone, warned that farmers do not get paid enough due to the highly competitive nature of UK supermarkets. This could lead to shortages as salad crop growers are already cutting production according to reports.
“The combination of rising input prices for farmers with the supermarkets’ determination to keep their prices competitive to avoid losing market share could mean that incentives for farmers to increase production would evaporate,” Millstone is reported as saying regarding the potential of shortages.
The Mail goes into detail on the price spikes, with processed food like butter and skim milk powder being 59 percent more costly this year than last, pasta and bread are also likely to rise due to wheat costs and scarcity.
Germany is also raising prices by as much as 30 percent in response to increasing costs and Florian Scholbeck, an executive at retail company Aldi North said, “Due to the situation on the world markets, we will experience jumps in sales prices that have never been seen before.”
The food shortages look to be getting worse, however, as diplomatic efforts continue to fail between Ukraine and Russia. Russia is also only exporting goods to countries it deems as “friendly,” while other countries are halting their exports to make sure they retain enough to feed their populations.
Argentina recently declared that it will no longer be exporting soybeans for the foreseeable future and other countries in Europe, including Ukraine, have halted grain exports.
Between the war and the already strained supply chains, things look like they are going to get very bad, very soon.