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High food prices are here to stay - and here's why

July 19, 2011

High food prices are here to stay - and here's why

Dig up your lawn and plant your flowerbeds with spuds. Marry a farmer. Buy land. The United Nations, commodity brokers and hedge funds, banks and governments all seem to agree that high food prices are here to stay.

According to mySupermarket and other food price-tracking sites, a typical shopping basket in Britain now costs around 6% more than it did last year but specific foods and key staples are clearly much dearer. Some English butter is up 40% in a year, chocolate biscuits 50%, coffee 20% and pasta 29%.

Globally, the UN also sees food prices rising over the next 10 years as higher energy and fertiliser costs affect farmers. In a recent report, the UN said it expected cereal prices to be 20% higher on average, compared with the previous decade, while meat prices would be up to 30% higher.

Inevitably this will hit the poorest the most. In Britain, families spend around 15% of their budget on food. In developing countries, this rises to 50% or more.

Read the article on Guardian UK.

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