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Deloitte: UK food prices and opportunities to go up

By Rob Starr, Content Manager, Big4.com

According to new research from business advisory firm Deloitte, the emerging middle classes in Asia, Latin America and Africa will transform the global food economy over the coming decade.

“Although the world is richer and better fed than it was 50 years ago, some of those gains are now under threat.  Greater competition for agricultural resources from increasing demand for food, the encouragement of biofuels expansion by certain governments and the increased frequency of extreme climatic events all point to heightened food security concerns for at least the next ten years,” says Mark Hill, partner in the consumer business industry group at Deloitte.

In fact  64% of food industry executives surveyed for UK Food and Beverage 2020 believe that emerging markets will become major food importers in their own right, with the greater competition for supply resulting in higher food prices globally and in the UK.  Whilst this creates concern over food security for the UK, 52% of respondents also believe there will be increased export opportunities for British producers.

In the short term, 63% of respondents anticipate further volatility in input costs over the coming 12 months, with 64% predicting problems in passing on higher costs to their customers.  59% expect that a combination of these factors will result in pressure on their profit margins.  These figures are echoed by Deloitte’s latest Consumer Tracker which found that 78% of consumers expect food prices to increase in 2013.

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