The drive for cheap food has been at the root of many farming and rural problems over the last decade and the lifting of commodity prices to more sustainable levels will be good news, according to NFU president Peter Kendall.
During his speech at the Royal Welsh Show, at Builth Wells on Sunday, Mr Kendall will say that it is vital that farmgate prices in the livestock and dairy sectors increase to reflect the substantial rise in cereals and oilseeds prices and other inputs of production.
“The era of cheap food at any cost is over and I, for one, will not be missing it,” said Mr. Kendall.
“We are witnessing a sea-change in world commodity markets and this should be reflected at the farm level – otherwise, it will be all too clear that the supply chain is not working properly.
“For too long farmgate prices have lagged behind rises in production costs and in the cost of living; even for sectors that have experienced increases in recent months, like dairy and cereals, farmgate prices are still lower than they had been ten years ago.
“Rising farmgate prices are long overdue and they cannot come at a better time for cereal growers and dairy and livestock farmers, for whom this dismal summer might otherwise have been the last straw.
“Food has never been cheaper, with consumers spending less than 9% of their income on food, compared with more than 22% just forty years ago. Food price increases are both affordable and needed.
“Many of the problems that have made farming so difficult for the past 20 years can ultimately be traced to the drive for cheap food at any cost, not only in Britain, but around the world. It is about time that the trend reverses and we do not need to apologise for it”, said Mr. Kendall.
Do you agree that consumers have had it too good, for too long? Discuss the issue with other farmers on the forums?