Huge price hikes have left Britain’s farmers and growers in a dire situation, which could lead to a food supply crisis across the country, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has warned.
According to its report on Tuesday, fertilizer, feed, fuel, and energy are all now more expensive due to the conflict in Ukraine and the Covid pandemic’s disruption to supply chains. Fertilizer prices have tripled since 2019, on top of a sixfold increase in wholesale gas prices, the NFU said.
The current shortage of eggs could spread to other food products, the union warned. Energy-intensive crops including tomatoes, cucumbers, and pears are reportedly on track for their lowest yields since records began in 1985, as producers leave agriculture in the face of rising costs.
The NFU highlighted that the nation had lost about 7,000 agricultural businesses since 2019.
“The danger is that we produce less and less of our food here, and we become ever more reliant on imports,” NFU president Minette Batters told journalists.
According to the union, £60 million (over $72 million) worth of food went to waste on farms this year as a result of labor shortages.
The NFU urged the government to provide urgent support to struggling farmers and allow 15,000 additional seasonal workers to come from abroad to help pick crops.