…By Judah Olanisebee for TDPel Media.
Supermarkets Accused of Price Hikes as Producers Suffer
The cost of food is on the rise, and supermarkets are facing criticism for their role in the increase.
Ali Capper, the chair of the National Farmers’ Union’s horticultural board, has accused supermarkets of raising prices by up to 46% for certain fruits, while failing to pass that increase on to producers.
Capper says that growers are facing a 23% increase in the cost of producing apples, yet they’re only seeing an average increase of 0.8% in the price they receive from the markets.
Supermarkets Have Room to Improve
Capper believes that the relationship between growers, supermarkets, and shoppers warrants further investigation.
She has called on the UK government to provide more support to the sector to help deal with energy costs.
Capper also thinks that supermarkets should focus more on selling British food rather than importing food that could be produced domestically.
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey agrees, stating that there should be an official inquiry into whether supermarkets and food manufacturers are profiteering during this time of economic crisis.
Supermarkets Respond to Criticism
However, supermarkets have denied allegations of profiteering, saying that the price hikes are necessary given the current cost of living crisis.
As the cost of food continues to rise, millions of shoppers are having to make cutbacks.
Despite this, retailers continue to benefit from high inflation.
In April, retail sales grew 5.1%, compared to a 0.3% decline in the same month last year.
However, the volume of items purchased was lower due to inflation weighing on budgets.
Impact on the Industry
The Office for National Statistics has reported that UK inflation hit 10.1% in March, with record food and drink inflation at 19.1%.
Retailers have reported that food sales increased by 9.8% over the three months to April, but sales volumes were actually lower due to price increases.
Non-food stores saw a 1.2% sales increase over the same period, with fashion retailers under particular pressure.
Retailers are calling on the government to provide more support to the industry as the cost-of-living crisis continues to impact shoppers.