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UK Sleepwalking Into Food Crisis As Fresh Produce Set To Vanish From Supermarkets

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | April 1, 2022

The National Farmers’ Union has warned the UK is sleepwalking into a food security crisis. Soaring energy and fertilizer costs have led to an unprecedented situation where growers’ margins have collapsed, forcing many to halt growing operations.

Reuters says because of the inclement weather in the UK. Farmers grow cumbers, plant peppers, aubergines, and tomatoes in vast greenhouses. Greenhouses use natural gas for heat, but after last year’s surge in gas prices exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month, the crops have become uneconomical to produce.

Trade body British Growers said the average cost to produce a cucumber in Britain before the energy crisis was around 25 pence, which is now more than doubled and set to hit 70 pence when higher energy prices fully kick in.

“Gas prices being so sky-high, it’s a worrying time,” grower Tony Montalbano said.

“All the years of us working hard to get to where we are, and then one year it could just all finish,” Montalbano said.

He noted his 30,000 square meters of glasshouses at Green Acre Salads business, which supplies major supermarkets such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s, and Morrisons, are shuttered because costs outpace market prices. In fact, the farmer would be losing money if he were to grow.

Compared with this time last year, European gas prices are up a mindboggling 500%.

Fertilizer prices have tripled since last year, along with soaring prices for packaging, diesel, freight, labor, and everything related to running a grow operation.

“We are now in an unprecedented situation where the cost increases have far outstripped a grower’s ability to do anything about them,” said Jack Ward, head of British Growers.

With many greenhouses offline, this will inevitably push down the output of produce for supermarkets and result in persistent and or even higher food inflation when overall inflation is at historic levels.

To give an idea of just how bad the situation is, the Valley Growers Association, whose members produce about 75% of Britain’s cucumber and sweet pepper crop, said 90% of farmers didn’t plant in January. Others said they would not grow with elevated gas prices.

“There’s definitely going to be a lack of British produce in the supermarkets,” association secretary Lee Stiles said. “Whether there’s a lack of produce overall depends on where and how far away the retailers are prepared to source it from.”

The UK could increase imports of produce, but countries worldwide are implementing protectionism measures to keep farm goods domestically to mitigate shortages due to the Ukraine conflict disrupting the global food supply.

Like many other countries worldwide, the UK is sleepwalking into a food crisis.

April 1, 2022 - Posted by | Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Russophobia | ,

3 Comments »

  1. The correct way of looking at this is to ask why one would be buying cucumbers and peppers in months when they can’t be grown normally. Our very recent ancestors, like 3 generations ago, ate leeks and brussels during the winter and that’s it. People grow tasteless fruit and veg under heated greenhouses simply because there is a market for it. A market driven by people with no taste and no mindfulness of the way this planet and the nature she created, works . Also of note is that historically, the %ge of disposable income spent on food has plummeted to the levels we are at today… and this is only just bouncing off the bottom now. Yes, food is about to get more expensive, but the reality is nothing shocking, unless you’re stupid, it’s simply, like everything in this existence, a wave… and we’re just going to trend higher for a while. It just means people will spend less on iPhones, Netflix, Tesla etc… we are at peak WANTS as a species and NEEDS are now going to take the upper hand for a while. No one NEEDS to eat a bloody cucumber in the UK in March.

    Like

    Comment by Richard Jones | April 1, 2022 | Reply

  2. While I agree that wanting and eating unseasonal vegetables and fruits may not be necessary, in today’s ‘global village’ both production and importation have made it possible, and if they are available, people will buy them. The more ominous problem is the selective destruction of agriculture by government policy, and the consequent impoverishment and reduction in health of the population.

    The Ice Age Farmer website warns of fabricated avian flu pandemics in which the government mandates the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of chickens and other poultry, thus reducing meat and egg production. To prevent ‘infection’, all poultry has to be kept indoors. Hence, (and I can’t confirm this) there are no free range chickens or eggs available in the UK. I also understand that Germany cannot obtain feedstuff for its chickens, as this comes from the Ukraine – thus creating a crisis there.
    As can be seen, any business that uses eggs, and there are many, is going to be adversely affected. And that is only chickens. Wait till the government gets on to cattle.

    The thrust of this article is that the government does not work for the people. Quite the contrary. It is implementing the ‘great reset’, and does nothing to ameliorate the problems, preferring to exacerbate them and lie about its commitment to the people. It’s funny, but full shelves might come with the removal of the government.

    Like

    Comment by Bill Francis | April 2, 2022 | Reply

  3. “Wait till the government gets on to cattle.”

    Fertiliser requires either gas or cattle and the UK may fall short on both.

    Like

    Comment by Balthasar Gerards | April 2, 2022 | Reply


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