Food price inflation is likely to remain in line with the general rate of inflation at around 2% over the next two years.

That was the conclusion of the latest report by English Farming & Food Partnerships, which also found that retail food prices were more than a third higher than at the start of the decade.

Fragile economic recovery and subdued consumer demand following the government’s emergency budget would both keep a lid on any significant increases at the retail level, it said.

However, the EFFP report acknowledged there was some uncertainty around the impact of predicted poorer harvests across the northern hemisphere this year – higher cereal prices also have knock-on effects for livestock producers and can have a major impact on food price inflation, it said.