Response to ONS figures on food price inflation
20 September 2023
Karen Betts the Chief Executive of the Food and Drink Federation responds to the latest ONS figures on price inflation.
"It’s encouraging to see food and drink price inflation fall again this month to 13.6%. However, it remains at historically high levels and our industry is very conscious of the pressure this is putting on household budgets.
"The reason inflation has not yet fallen further is because the costs of food production remain high, including ingredients, energy, transport and labour. While commodity prices are generally falling, they remain 22% higher than they were pre-pandemic, with persistent inflation in some, like sugar and olive oil.
"Food and drink manufacturers continue to do all they can to keep prices down for consumers while paying a fair price to their suppliers. The pressure on businesses in our sector is very visible in the high rate of insolvencies in the first half of 2023, which were 132% higher than during the whole of 2019.
"It's vital that government continues to work with our sector to ensure food and drink price inflation continues to fall, including by reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens. In particular, cumbersome new 'not for EU' labelling plans under the Windsor Framework need a pragmatic alternative if we're to avoid significant, unnecessary costs being placed on already stretched businesses."
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