UK households to pay £407 more for their food shop this year

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The average household would have been able to buy almost one and a half months’ worth of food for £407 a year ago when food prices were significantly lower, the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) said.

Matt Williams, climate and land programme lead at the ECIU, said: “Imagine taking six trolleys of weekly shops through the checkout.

“That’s how much extra households are paying for food this year due to gas prices and climate change.

“Like families, the farmers who grow our food are being put under pressure by drought, and by the high cost of fertilisers which are made using gas.”

The rising cost of gas because of the war in Ukraine has pushed up the price of fertilisers for farmers and of energy throughout the food supply chain.

Meanwhile, extreme weather like heat or floods have devastated crops globally and caused food prices to rise.

Nicky Amos, of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, said: “Although it may not say climate change on the till receipt, it’s definitely showing up on our shopping bills.

“Buying more wonky veg is a step we can take to cut waste, eat more healthily, and reduce our shopping bills. We know the public are willing to play their part, so we need supermarkets to help by relaxing their produce appearance standards to stock more wonky fruit and veg.”

The ECIU said that of the £407 food bill increase, £170 is because of climate change and £236 is due to the cost of oil and gas.

Climate change and oil and gas prices have driven up average UK household food bills by a total of £11.4 billion, the report showed.

These two factors could account for as much as 88 per cent of overall food price inflation, researchers said.

Professor Corinna Hawkes, director of the Centre for Food Policy, at City, University of London, said: “This important piece of analysis is one of the first times we have seen how important climate change is in influencing food prices.

“Climate change is not a distant threat, but affects the money we all have in our pockets every day. We cannot isolate cause and effect. We have to understand the full range of factors that influence food prices in order to understand what to do about them.”

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