The fall in the value of the pound and reliance on imported food is likely to put food prices up.
British food production could play a ’vital role’ to help tackle the incoming 5 per cent price increase that could target supermarkets in the next six months.
Leading retail experts said the fall in the value of the pound and the nation’s reliance on imported food is likely to result in an increase in inflation, putting food prices up.
Former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King said some supermarkets will be ‘squeezed in the jaws’ of resisting price rises whilst dealing with increased costs.
He said: "Around 40 per cent to 50 per cent of what we buy is sourced abroad in a currency other than the pound, so with the current rates of exchange we could expect those things to be about 10 per cent more expensive.
“And if that’s about half of what we buy, then that means something of the order of 5 per cent inflation."
NFU president Meurig Raymond said farmers needed to help urge retailers, food service and processors to ’back British farming’.
Mr Raymond said the country needed a ‘strong, secure and viable’ UK food production system and warned of the ‘danger’ of being increasingly reliant on imported foods.
“The nation’s self-sufficiency in food is falling,” Mr Raymond said. “Whilst we could not and would not want to be entirely self-sufficient, these warnings demonstrate the potential impacts of becoming more and more reliant on the rest of the world to feed us, especially in these times of volatility.”
He said Britain currently produces 61 per cent of the food it needs to feed itself, but some sectors like horticulture are ‘much worse’.
“Not only do Britain’s farmers play a vital role in feeding the nation, British farming can be the solution to so many other issues after Brexit.
“Along with food self-sufficiency, the economic importance of the farming sector and its role as a key employer is why we have to ensure that British food and farming has a viable and resilient future.”