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Food inflation at highest level ‘for many years’

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Food inflation at highest level ‘for many years’

Over the past 12 months, food and drink prices have risen to its “highest level for many years” with the overall consumer price index for December 2017 at 3%, an increase of 1.2% from January 2017.

The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO)’s inaugural TUCO Intelligence report found a 10% rise in tea prices due to a reliance on the import market, while the price of apple juice has shot up following a poor harvest in Poland, and the price of cooking wine has been effected by HRMC in 2018 applying the same rate of duty as standard wine.

Looking forward, between 6-8p will be added to a can of Fanta, Sprite, Coco-Cola and Pepsi following the introduction of the sugar tax and the wholesale price of farmed salmon is expected to rise by as much as 50% as the knock-on effect of stocks decimated by sea lice continue to affect supply.

Baltic cod and haddock prices are expected to reduce by 3% this year, as the European Commission make alterations to quotas, as is the price of butter which is set to fall after doubling in price last summer.

TUCO chief executive Mike Haslin said: “The Bank of England predicts inflation will fall steadily towards its target of 2% during 2018 but uncertainty in the economy fuelled by Brexit, continues to impact on the value of sterling.

“With more than 40% of the UK’s food currently imported, currency fluctuations against the Euro and US dollar are making imports more expensive. The prospect of Brexit is also expected to contribute to staff shortages in a number of sectors as EU workers start to leave the UK”

The report recommends the use of UK Cox, Russet and Bramley apples, Italian blood and Seville oranges, Nottingham Piccolo parsnips and Chantenay carrots, Lancashire sprouts, savoy cabbage, leeks, beetroot, kale, Worcestershire purple sprouting broccoli and French pink fir potatoes in 2018.

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