Ukraine conflict will cause food price rise and temporary shortage: FDF

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Ukraine conflict and subsequent sanctions on Russia, trade restriction and supply chain disruptions will lead to food prices and possibility of temporary shortages, Food and Drink Federation said on Tuesday (22).

Speaking at the annual conference, FDF Chief Executive Karen Betts agreed that sanctions must be imposed on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government for its actions but at the same time also informed that the same will translate into food price rise and temporary shortages.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a genuine geopolitical, energy and commodity shock” that “will have serious ramifications for us all, across Europe and globally,” she said, adding that food price rises are now “inevitable”.

The effects of the war are already being felt in the supply chain. Energy prices are soaring while shortages of sunflower oil and wheat are causing huge spikes in global market prices. These impacts are hitting an industry only just starting to recover from the strains of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Noting that global wheat prices have spiked by 80 percent than last year while sunflower oil is becoming rapidly unavailable, Betts called on the government to help mitigate food price inflation through three-fold efforts.

Firstly, the government must allow the food industry to use safe alternative products where ingredients are becoming unavailable- starting with sunflower oil-, Betts said.

Secondly, Betts called for the country’s food security and resilience to be guarded fiercely by forming cross-governmental National Food Security Council to work alongside industry and enable to respond collectively and quickly.

Thirdly, ministers must “pause, reflect and consider” the upcoming regulations to save businesses and shops from complexity and cost.