A recent study showing that over sixty per cent of UK consumers now believe that the age of low-cost food has come to an end has partially allayed farmers concerns that the recent trend of higher food prices may adversely impact on the their industry.
The survey also found that almost eighty per cent of UK consumers believe that the nation should reduce its reliance on other countries for its food and become more self-sufficient. However seventy five per cent believe that the government should do more to avoid additional price increases.
The research, which will be a welcome boost to the nation’s agriculture, was conducted on behalf of the UK Crop Protection Association. The Association’s chief executive officer, Dominic Dyer, explained that the findings suggest that UK shoppers are fully aware and concerned about the worldwide factors that are influencing food price rises.
At last year’s ‘Inside Government’ conference, Dyer explained that the responses clearly showed that UK shoppers are concerned about the potential impact of variables such as climate change, energy supplies and population growth and the price of food.
Consumers also recognised the important role that science could play in helping to increase future production to overcome these challenges.
Dyer is concerned that high food prices may result in a reduction in consumer spend in other sectors of the economy, which could, in turn, have severe implications for the recovery and wider growth. To ensure that this doesn’t happen he has appealed for support to release the production potential of European and UK agriculture.
Dyer believes that European Union is in a position of denial regarding food security. With stagnant European crop yields and limited access to the most effective production tools he believes that food production could fall by a further forty per cent.