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Wholesale food prices stabilise despite horse meat scandal

09 April 2013 by
Wholesale food prices stabilise despite horse meat scandal

Wholesale food prices have stabilised in the early part of 2013, although the horse meat scandal does appear to have pushed up the cost of meat.

The Catering Price Index reported a 0.73% overall rise in food prices so far in 2013, although February saw a monthly increase of 2.72% in meat products, which may have been an early indication of the effects of the horse meat scandal.

The cost of fresh fruit and vegetables was down slightly in March compared to February, but still up 0.63% on December 2012.

Meanwhile fish and seafood had actually fallen 1.22% between December 2012 and March 2013.

But bread and dairy products have both risen sharply. Dairy products in March 2013 were up 6.55% on December 2012, while bread has risen 1.73% over the same period. Oils and fats are down 1.64%.

Commenting on the rise in the cost of meat products since the horse meat scandal erupted in January this year, Jamie Jarczewski, director at Catering Price Index said: "One positive outcome of the scandal and subsequent arguments around processed meat is the welcome and rapid increase in demand for locally sourced produce, in particular at local butchers and farm shops, alongside a reduction in the consumption of processed products.

"However, on a wider scale, this increased take-up will inevitably put a strain on the supply and availability of UK sourced and reared meat, until such a point as the UK meat industry becomes more self-sufficient. In light of the reduction in the farming community as a result of increasing closures over the past few years, this is unlikely to happen soon."

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