10 euros a loaf? German farmers warn of massive food price hikes
Struggling with significantly higher costs for energy, fuel, fertilisers and logistics, along with a scarcity of some products, farmers in Germany have warned that the cost of food will rise dramatically in the coming months.
Food prices to increase dramatically in Germany
With the war in Ukraine putting pressure on global markets, Germany’s farmers have forecast “price jumps of an unprecedented magnitude” for food. According to a paper published by the German Farmers’ Association last week, the entire food supply chain is facing huge cost increases, which will ultimately be passed on to consumers.
The paper warned that the Ukraine war will have “massive negative consequences for the world foot situation”, especially in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
However, the pinch will also be felt closer to home. The vice president of the Farmers’ Association in Schleswig-Holstein, Klaus-Peter Lucht, told Bild that he expected food prices in Germany to rise by an average of 20 to 40 percent overall. Since Ukraine is one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, the squeeze will be particularly apparent on the price of bread. Lucht said the price of load “could double. Up to 10 euros.”
He added that some products could become unavailable for the foreseeable future, including sunflower and rapeseed oil and apricot jam, all of which come primarily from Ukraine. “Because of the war in Ukraine, these will soon no longer be available in supermarkets,” Lucht said.
German farmers call for government action
Farmers are calling for “short-term and long-term measures” from the federal government and the EU to stabilise agricultural production. Already, ministers have proposed that farmers be allowed to temporarily farm on so-called ecological priority areas, such as fallow land. The association wants farmers to also be allowed to use pesticides in these areas.
The association has also highlighted the problems facing fertiliser production in Germany and the EU. The process of producing agricultural fertilisers is energy-intensive and requires natural gas. Farmers are warning that, should gas supplies be interrupted, fertiliser production would be impacted, and thus “significantly lower harvests would be inevitable from 2023.”