Consumers, Europe, UK, Ireland, Trade/Markets/Prices, Trends

Why spuds are cheap as chips in the UK – while wheat prices rocket

Commodities markets are in uproar, wheat prices have reached record highs and the cost of food is rocketing. “Yet the humble spud – a staple grown on our doorstep – is still cheap and plentiful,” writes Sarah Chambers in a news story for East Anglian Daily Times.

Despite this, and with the exception of a brief recovery during the pandemic, there has been a slow and steady decline in fresh potato consumption in the UK. The trend shows no sign of changing – despite this year’s rocketing food prices. Meanwhile other – often imported – carbohydrates such as pasta and rice have grown in popularity.

One of the oddities in a time of turmoil and fears of food scarcity is that while cereal and cooking oil crop prices go through the roof, the cost of a host of homegrown vegetable crops has barely changed. This year’s East Anglian potato crop is looking very promising. But prices are low – making some of the farmers’ crops uneconomical.

This is for a variety of complicated market reasons, explains James Wrinch, managing director of East Suffolk Produce, a grower group producing 50,000 tonnes of ware and 5,000 tonnes of seed potatoes around the east coast of Suffolk and Essex.

Source: East Anglian Daily Times. Read the full story here
Photo: Credit Sarah Lucy Brown and courtesy East Anglian Daily Times

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