Global food crisis set to send prices of household staples soaring over next five years

A GLOBAL food crisis will see the cost of household staples rocket by almost a fifth in five years, economists warned.

Growing demand for essentials like meat and grain, topsy-turvy weather and land commandeered for the production of biofuels will add at least £850 to typical annual food spending, they claimed.

Retail analysts at research agency Conlumino said food price inflation would add almost £20billion to the nation’s annual grocery bill by 2018, a rise of almost 18 per cent.

Experts calculated the increases would add £1.50 to a 2lb joint of roasting beef, 25p to a loaf of Hovis sliced bread and almost 10p to a pint of milk at Asda.

The bleak outlook could only be reversed, experts said, by setting aside more land on which cattle can be reared and grain harvested.

On average, households spend almost £5,000 a year on groceries.

Neil Saunders, of Conlumino, said: “These figures will shock hard-working households because everyone has to eat to live and it’s jolly hard to economise on the basics.

“The foods we are talking about here are essentials, it’s not discretionary spending.

“This is a global problem, it’s not one unique to Britain.

“Salaries look like they are going to be eaten up by the increase in food prices.

“The only consolation is that over the longer period households might see their disposable income increase.”

The doomsday report comes after a Government adviser on food supply warned that food prices would treble during the next 20 years.

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