Bread prices to rise after worst wheat harvest in four decades
‘There is a lack of quality domestic wheat so we may end up having to import from rest of the world’
THE worst wheat harvest in four decades could cause the price of flour and bread to rise, farmers have warned.
Heavy rain and flooding meant only 40pc of the normal amount of wheat was planted last year, and droughts this year followed by rain in the summer have meant the crop has been of a poor quality.
The harvest crisis, along with the risk that the UK’s farming sector could be hit with tariffs if Brexit talks fail, could push up the price of flour and bread. Farmers told Sky News they feared the price of wheat would go up with a knock-on effect on consumers.
Ed Horton, a farmer near Cirencester, Gloucs, said: “We’ve produced a third of what we usually would, therefore there’s a large hole in our cash flow and we’ve had to replace wheat with other crops we don’t make as much money out of.
“For the food chain, there’s a lack of domestically produced quality wheat so we may end up having to import wheat from other parts of the world.”
Last week, National Farmers Union vice-president Tom Bradshaw warned food security needed to be high up the Government’s agenda. He warned poor soil conditions this year could also harm next year’s harvest.
Mr Bradshaw said: “The soaring temperature recently has taken its toll on any remaining crop growth just before harvest. Many farmers are facing a double whammy with sudden breaks in the weather causing flash floods.”
Meanwhile, millers are concerned a no-deal Brexit could slap a further £79-a-ton tariff on wheat. Millers importing wheat could face further costs which would ultimately show up in supermarket prices.