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    Potato prices soar amid record rainfall

    (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    Potato prices have soared as challenging weather conditions continue to affect supply across the UK.

    Some UK supermarkets have shrunk potato pack sizes from 2.5kg to 2kg without a decrease in price, equating to around a 25 per cent price increase per kilo to shoppers, Mail Online reported.

    Some farmers, whose land has been under water for months, face having no spring harvest of veg for the first time since the Second World War, stated the report, while many have been unable to plant other crops in waterlogged fields.

    Most supermarket giants have already shrunk potato pack sizes from 2.5kg to 2kg without any decrease in price. The net effect is a secret cost hike to shoppers of around 25 per cent per kilo. At the same time, stores are expected to allow smaller, wonky veg on to shelves.

    Stores will look to avoid a repeat of last year’s restricted purchases of fresh produce after extreme weather hit European producers by importing more, which will push up prices. Last year, several retailers restricted purchases of fresh produce, including tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, after extreme weather hit producers in Europe. Stores will look to avoid a repeat for UK vegetables by importing more, which will push up prices. 

    Henry Ward, whose 200-acre farm in Lincolnshire has been flooded since October, told Mail Online that some 25 per cent of Britain’s fresh vegetables are produced on the fens of Lincolnshire, but the land is under water.

    “We are going to have food shortages,” he said. adding that the problem had been exacerbated by the fact that a government fund designed to help farmers cope has ruled that many are not eligible for grants of up to £25,000. 

    National Farmers Union vice-president Rachel Hallos said, “A crisis is building. While farmers are bearing the brunt of it now, consumers may well see the effects through the year.”

    She confirmed the problems with the Government’s Farming Recovery Fund.

    “We are hearing from numerous members who have suffered catastrophic impacts who have been told they are not eligible for the fund because some of their affected areas are more than 150 metres from main rivers,” she said.

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