The UK’s largest farmers’ association is warning of a possible food crisis in the UK due to a sharp increase in costs to farmers, particularly energy, fertilizer, fuel and animal feed. The interest group’s National Farmers Union (NFU) is even talking about an emergency for farmers.
According to the NFU, sometimes there is actually a shortage of eggs, which means supermarkets have to ration egg sales. The organization fears that supplies of tomatoes, cucumbers and pears could also come under pressure because so much energy is used for this production.
The National Farmers Federation states that UK food production could be jeopardized by these sharply increased costs and that production is declining domestically. As a result, the UK has become more dependent on food imports. The interest group says there are 7,000 fewer farms in the UK than in 2019.
In addition to the high costs, British farmers are also dealing with the fallout from Brexit. Due to leaving the European Union, many employees from Eastern Europe in particular have returned home. British agriculture has always been very dependent on foreign labour. Therefore, the National Farmers Union is calling on the government to be flexible with the visa rules for foreign workers in order to prevent harvesting of fruits and vegetables due to staff shortages.
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