Food price rises - we can do something but ...
Credit: Bence Balla-Schottner on unsplash

Food price rises - we can do something but ...

Recent analysis suggests that high food prices will continue for some time, and that the impact will be more severe than we initially thought. We need to think differently about how and when we use fertiliser, and how this fits into our wider system of agricultural practices.

Summary: Unless you live under a rock, you will know that food prices have risen and risen sharply. Analysts increasingly believe that the main driver is gas and energy prices, which impact farmers mainly via fertiliser costs. Recent analysis suggests that not only will this continue for some time, but that the impact will be longer lasting than we initially thought. We need to think differently about how and when we use fertiliser, and how this fits into our wider system of agricultural practices. This will take time, but its worth starting.

Why this is important: Energy prices directly impact the cost of food production. That will drive inflation.

The big theme: There are real concerns about our ability to feed the world, while at the same time trying to reduce the impacts on our natural world. The resources are not limitless. One major pressure point is nitrogen fertiliser. It does a lot of good but its also a double edged sword.



The details


Summary of a report from The Conversation

Food prices in the UK are at their highest for 15 years and something similar is happening in almost every country around the world. The situation is set to get worse as high fertiliser prices, and resulting lower yields from reduced use, may cause further food inflation in 2023. A recently published research report in Nature Food suggests these price rises will lead to many people’s diets becoming poorer, with up to 1 million additional deaths and 100 million more people undernourished. This isn’t just happening because of reductions in food exports from Ukraine and Russia, which are less of a driver of food price rises than feared. And unlike previous food price spikes higher food prices may be set to last. This could be the end of an era of cheap food.

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