The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has responded to the latest ONS figures regarding food inflation, stating that it is “vital” for Government to work with industry to allow inflation to keep falling.

According to the Office for National Statistics, in the year to August inflation dropped to 6.7%, a 0.1% decrease from July 2023 figures. This marks the third consecutive month to see a decrease in the rate of inflation.

While milk, cheese and vegetables were all cheaper, the cost of cereals rose, a direct result of the destruction of Ukraine grain ports, according to the ONS. Wheat prices immediately jumped by 8.2% just one day after the port attacks, as Ukraine is widely known as one of the top global wheat exporters.

BBC News stated that the “drop in food prices is potentially good news for consumers who have seen shopping and restaurant bills soar.”

FDF calls for Government to work with the food sector

Karen Betts, chief executive of the FDF, said: “It’s encouraging to see food and drink price inflation fall again this month to 13.6%. However, it remains at historically high levels and our industry is very conscious of the pressure this is putting on household budgets.

“The reason inflation has not yet fallen further is because the costs of food production remain high, including ingredients, energy, transport and labour. While commodity prices are generally falling, they remain 22% higher than they were pre-pandemic, with persistent inflation in some, like sugar and olive oil. 

“Food and drink manufacturers continue to do all they can to keep prices down for consumers while paying a fair price to their suppliers. The pressure on businesses in our sector is very visible in the high rate of insolvencies in the first half of 2023, which were 132% higher than during the whole of 2019.

“It’s vital that Government continues to work with our sector to ensure food and drink price inflation continues to fall, including by reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens. In particular, cumbersome new ‘not for EU’ labelling plans under the Windsor Framework need a pragmatic alternative if we’re to avoid significant, unnecessary costs being placed on already stretched businesses.”