FDF Response to March Inflation Figures

17 April 2024

Read our response to the ONS inflation figures released today.


Karen Betts, CEO, The Food and Drink Federation said:

“Food and drink price inflation fell again in March, to 4.0 per cent from 5.0 per cent in February.  This corresponds to input price inflation that manufacturers experience, which also continues to ease.  This is good news for consumers – with food and drink price inflation rates now much lower than they were a year ago and with some prices in shops falling.

However, risks remain, including the increasing instance of extreme weather which is impacting agriculture globally. This has been very visible in the UK in recent weeks with this winter’s wet weather causing widespread flooding on farmland.  Inevitably, lower or poorer crop yields caused by bad weather have the ability to impact food prices.    

In this context, we welcome the Prime Minister’s intention to hold another farm to fork summit at No 10 next month. Food security should be a focus of this, and how all parts of the food system work together – and with government – to ensure the UK has a secure supply of good quality food and drink.  A central part of this is regulation, and ensuring this fosters investment in the UK, including in innovation and food science. Unfortunately, current government plans for ‘not for EU’ labelling will have the opposite effect, as will current government plans for Forest Risk Commodity regulations, where industry want the same outcome as government but current proposals are not well designed and will create unnecessary burdens for supply chains. Both could lead to a disinvestment in UK food and drink over time. We hope the summit will help to resolve problems such as these with forward-looking solutions that are well within our reach.”



The decrease isn’t consistent across all goods. While we have seen prices fall for butter, whole milk and frozen seafood by 11.7 per cent, 11.1 percent and 8.7 per cent respectively. Olive oil is up by 38.9 per cent, cocoa and powdered chocolate has risen by 18.5 per cent and sugar is up by 14.2 per cent.