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back to article Great British fry-up under threat

The cost of a full English is set to soar, as animal feed prices push up the cost of eggs, bacon and dairy produce. Wheat has also hit a record high, so toast isn't going to be the budget option, either. According to The Times UK egg producer Noble Foods, which supplies roughly 40 per cent of the UK's eggs, said that farmers …

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CJ

I blame

... paris hilton for the lack of IT angle in this story.

As someone who partakes in a morning sausage and bacon roll for £2.20 and a full fryup on a hangover morning, I read this story with great sorrow. So long cheap breakfasts, we loved you well.

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Cost of eggs?

I never understand this, just jack up the price of eggs and give the farmers the money. Has anyone ever put back a pack of eggs because of the outragous price? Seriously I always look round the supermarket wondering how the hell the farmers survive at these cheap prices.

If only you could trust the supermarkets to give the extra to the farmers... I suppose thats an issue in itself.

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Dan

Culprits

Don't forget the supermarkets - if they weren't shafting the farmers price-wise then yes, we'd be paying £13p more for a pack of bacon, but the farmers wouldn't be in such dire circumstances to start with.

Foot and mouth won't help the meat situation, although yesterdays sudden renewed outbreak smells almost of malicious action so close to peak market season. I see cow-shaped black helicopters...

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Anonymous Coward

Milk & eggs

I noticed this today in asda.

At the stat of the year it was £1 for 4 pints of milk. It then went up to £1.15. Today i noticed it has gone up to £1.34.

Also they have whaked about 10p on the eggs i normally get.

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New petition:

Bring back price control!

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Pork too pricey to produce

The same thing happened in the US a couple of years ago. Farmers were slaughtering their pigs because they were too expensive to grow for the return. At the time you could buy a market ready pig for $75.00, pay to have it butchered and end up with a freezer full of pork for less than a dollar a pound. The farmers were losing their shirts and the economy was choking it out of them. I come from a short line of farmers (New York Yankee, 1700’s) and there are few people that work as hard as a farmer does. A farmer’s lot is unappreciated and of all the people to help out, farmers are the most deserving.

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Silver badge

Extreme weather events being...

... a typical english summer. Come on! Do some research for once people. The reason cereal crops are in such short supply is because the EU sold off its entire reserve last year after believing the predictions that global warming - causing an unusually hot summer - would bring about a bumper harvest. On top of that there is also the pressure of a mandatory 10% of fuel production coming from biofuels, which would require the UK to use its entire cereal crop to meet that target, further pushing up the prices, and the fact that a large amount of land is no longer used for food production but is "set aside" at the behest of the EU, ostensibly for use as nothing at all, but in reality used to produce industrial crops like rape seed and flax.

Blaming global warming is specious at best and simply bad journalism. I expected better from you.

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Sorry, but even so food is still cheap in the UK.

After moving to the US, and congratulating myself on cheap petrol, cars, TVs, consoles and a whole bunch of things that don't really matter - I then found out why people don't eat properly here.

Price of eggs gone up 20p for 1/2 a dozen you say? Well that would put them about 50p cheaper than you'll find them here.

Basically if it's necessary to life - utilities, health care, food - then it costs more than double in the US over almost anywhere else that has food in supermarkets.

You won't find a loaf of bread for under 2 quid, unless it's that stodgy white stuff the supermarket makes themselves. They think it's normal to pay a couple of notes for a tinned fruit for god's sake - I've actually met people that think it's some sort of luxury item.

Health care is the same - which is the truly odd thing. In a country where almost everyone has to pay (and pay big) for any sort of treatment, they are completely obsessed with going to the doctor for anything that makes them feel slightly under the weather. Head cold? 200 quid doctor's visit and a completely useless antibiotic prescription (way to create super-bacteria, guys, well done indeed). When it comes to filling that prescription, they're told that buying it from a country like Canada (which sells medicine for normal prices) is dangerous, because the exact same pills both countries imported from a 3rd world facility staffed by children aren't safe - unless a US government agency checked to make sure they're expensive enough.

After all we're supposed to believe that the same agency that approved pills that literally killed people are the only guys we should trust to make sure imported drugs are safe. Sorry I'll take the Cannucks food and safety people over the bought and paid for US equivalent every time.

And what do you get for the extra money - this double the norm on everyday food items like bread, eggs and bacon? Oversight that won't warn people if beef comes from mad cow sources or is artificially fattened by hormone and steroid injections. It's absolutely vital the farming industry isn't harmed by negative press, not when the only cost is people getting cancer and brain disease.

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Silver badge

Re: Dan

'I see cow-shaped black helicopters...'

Surely the logical explanation is that you're actually seeing flying black cows?

There's always a rational explanation for these things.

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Free range eggs - free feed

These free range hens wander about the barn yard gobbin up the odd worm.

So their eggs are better and cheaper

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This post has been deleted by its author

All is not lost.

One Word - "Kippers"

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The Great North

In Vancouver the cost of whole milk has jumped 15% or more, but it really depends where you shop. The big name stores routinely ask for close to $3 for a dozen regular eggs. I pay $2.50 for a dozen extra large. Same for chicken and other meats. People seem to shop at the big name outlets. I destination shop in small stores that are a good walk away but get exercise and good prices. Overall, because I know the city, take exercise and fun poking my nose into small, neighbourhood shops that seem to have been in business a long time, I would guess my food bill runs, on average, 30% below what it would if I were to mindlessly follow the droves to the big brand outlets.

Canada will benefit from a longer growing season, is almost embarrassingly resource rich, has near unlimited hydro resources and is decidedly socialist when it comes to the basic welfare of its people. Since the Regan administration common gossip has it more and more Americans are immigrating to Canada. :)

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Supermarket price hike

Once again, the supermarkets want to jump on the bandwagon of earlier disasters and hike the prices up for produce. It is a pity that most of the farmers wont see much of it as a lot of the large farms have contracts in place to supply the supermarkets before anything is even planted so wont effectthe price they get paid. the only way to gaurantee the farmer gets there true moneys worth is buy from local markets and the traditional butchers / greengrocers etc.

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Bronze badge

Hand outs? Insurance?

Most real farmers as opposed to corporate agricultural industry managers, are over fifty five and there are almost no young new blood incomers to farming. Why ? It must be that they are all ethically opposed to the vast amount of hand outs and cash that the farmers are recieving.

In reality in modern farming, one farmer needs over four hundred acres ( sod the French hectare) to operateas a viable financial operation and my information is a couple of years out of date, it could well be worse than that by now. Farmers in the UK at least are the most governed( and badly at that) industry in Europe.Every thing they do is controlled by euro regs and pieces of paper, the last time I talked to a farmer he reckoned that 60% of his working year was taken up by paper work! The margins they operate on are yearly thinner and thinner. And as for insurance, I take it the joker that suggested that is a broker. What are the chances do you think for economically insuring against bad weather affecting your crops or foot and mouth stiking down your girlfreind?

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Kellogs

Guess it will be Rice Krispies for me from now on, never caught the fact it was made from rice even thought he name tells me every time.,

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Too bad farmers won't benefit.

To follow up on points made by Dana and Andy above, if the farm- to- market relationship in the U.K. is anything like the one in the U.S., any hikes in grocery prices will probably not be passed back to the farmers. In the U.S., farm commodity amalgamators (ADM, Tyson, et al) contract to buy quantities (of grain, cow meat, pig meat, cowmilk, whatever) from farmers who often have no other choice but to sell at barely above cost. The farm subsidy laws in 'Murka have been rewritten so that the small scale farmers who were protected to some degree against market fluctuations are now totally at the mercy of the "free" market, and ripe for plunder by the large- scale farm operations (the "family farm" has largely faded into sepia- toned memory). Also, much of the government subsidy money covers corn and wheat crops which does allow for cheaper consumer goods (like bread) but unfortunately these cheaper goods tend to be nutritionally useless (white flour, high fructose corn syrup), and un- subsidized useful foods (fruits and veggies) become more expensive by comparison (and thus out of reach for many lower- income families), which in turn exacerbates the health care debacle. Like most well- intentioned law in America, farm subsidy laws have become a gordian knot that only benefits big agri- business and not farmers or consumers.

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Bronze badge

My heart bleeds, NOT.

Taking inflation into account, the prices being paid to farmers as a result of this shortage are still only half of what was being paid in the early Eighties.

People complained when the EU had stockpiles of food. Now they're gone, and people complain that they're gone.

And without a global shortage, which has all sorts of different causes coinciding, this price change wouldn't have happened, and the only thing some of you would have noticed is a few more untended roadside hedges.

Well, you've noticed this.

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prices availability other

What concerns me is fairly well illustrated by the comments above this one no one knows what is going on the information is either completely lacking or hidden in some way government obfuscates (tweaks supplies and hides information) probably though it's hard to tell and if they are setting us (and I really don't think your nationality matters) up for a disaster how can we find out? Knowing the usual type of people in government in any country I have ever heard of we need to PANIC!

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Supermarket prices

I work for one of the larger Supermarket chains here in the UK, specifically, with fruit and veg, and i can tell you that the prices we pay wholesale are stupidly low - fresh fruit and veg has a higher mark-up than most foodstuffs, meaning that next to nothing of the price the consumer pays goes to the producers.

Hell, barely anything of what you pay goes to the boys & girls who put the stuff on the shelves - please remember this next time you feel the urge to rant and rage at them for slight blemishes on the apples, or something minor like this.

**ahem**

Anyhoo, one weird thing I've noticed - we do a range of Fairtrade products - take, for example, a bunch of roses.

Most of our roses come from a mix of UK and Dutch farms - the growers get next to nothing for these, but they are freshly grown and cut, with a minimum travelling distance from grower to store.

Then we have the Fairtrade roses, twice the price, with the extra cost allegedly going to the producers (in Kenya!!) - to get these to the stores in fresh condition, they have to be flown in.

Which means that the extra cost is going on air-freight costs, rather than going to the producer.

Why can't we have a Fairtrade scheme that benefits British farmers - charge a premuium cost for a premium product, but give the extra cash to the farmers, rather than the airlines.

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HEH!

At last a reason to be proud of my dairy allergy !! :D Eggs, HA! cant afford to buy em but hey if i could they'd kill me :)

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Tim

Chickens

I don't have a particuarly huge garden but in it I've got 5 chickens, 4 ducks and 2 geese, plenty of eggs, they live off scraps and laying pellets (which cost very little) and we get all the eggs we can eat, and enough spare that we're well equiped for halloween....ermm, I ment Easter, with the egg painting etc.

If farmers with their scale of feeding and keeping hens in cages rather that roam free like my garden hens do can't provide eggs for a sensible price then I've no idea who they're buying their feed from but I've not noticed any gold nuggets in my eggs, so I'd suggest they're being ripped off.

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Farming, Subsidies, Global Economy

The selfish part of me says, bugger for more expensive food - that's been flown in from half way around the world - it comes to something when the average potatoe or pork based product has travelled more air miles than the regular customers.

The other part of me insists that farming on a global scale will never work and is unsustainable. In the age of allotments (and there are still those around in the UK and not just featured on Eastenders) - most fruit/veg and herbs can be grown for personal use. If you could ever get planning permission to have a chicken or four that's your eggs and your sunday dinner sorted out.

But how bad will things have to be in order for people to return to living off the land? More importantly do we still have the skills (or the stomach) in which to do so?

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you could always buy direct from the farm I suppose...

A lot of farms have farm shops or do farmers markets, that'd do the trick. Much of this "panic" is to do with the ridiculous profits the supermarkets are making. If farmers find other ways to sell their goods with higher margins then the supermarkets either have to put their prices up, have to sort out their ridiculous pricing structure or both.

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@Andy Bright

If you find unprocessed food too expensive, have you considered a CSA subscription? You pay a local farm in advance for a season and get a weekly basket of fresh produce (depends on the farm and season - fruit, veg, milk, eggs, meat etc). More info here:

http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

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Anonymous Coward

but still

Why the mass hysteria? Foot and mouth is a fairly mild disease that an animal will naturally recover from in a few weeks. maybe a few animals will die but its essentially the animal equivalent of flu, hardly the black death.

Why label animals that have either had the disease and recovered, or been vaccinated against it, as unfit for human consumption? surely some regulations making people wait a certain length of time after an animal has the disease before sloughtering them for food, instead of a complete ban, would make the problem dissapear overnight. Its absolutely ridiculous that vaccinating an animal against a disease, means it cant be certified as disease free??

The majority of the meat we import has been vaccinated against the disease anyway.

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Huh?

Farmers deal directly with the supermarkets? I always thought the cooperation dealt with sales to retail et cetera, and farmers offered their goods to the coop. The coop closes the deals, they're the ones to blame?

Regards,

Gerrit

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Anonymous Coward

get ready

For a new "winter of discontent". Rising interest rates and food prices, unsustainable loans and mortgages, strikes by public sector workers, the fruits of long years of under maintenance on our services and utilities - it doesn't look pretty. But as long as the City can give themselves ludicrous bonuses, and the supermarkets can keep skimming from both ends, then it's life as normal. Maybe a dose of financial reality will be the thing this country needs to jolt it out of it's current chav culture. People praise Thatcher, but all she did was sell off our valuable assets to line the pockets of a few, while telling us we could all be rich.

Newsflash - we can't ALL be rich, someone always has to suffer for it.

Disclaimer, I don't vote for any major political party, as they all suffer the same disease - career politicians. What we need are elder statesmen who have been around the block and can handle themselves from experience. Not bloody white teeth and fake smiles.

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@David Robinson - Dairy Eggs?

If I read your comment properly you said that you can't eat eggs because of your dairy allergy.

From what kind of cow, exactly, do you get your eggs? ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

@Dave Bell

"People complained when the EU had stockpiles of food. Now they're gone, and people complain that they're gone."

Ever thought that the people who complained aren't the ones complaining now?

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You ain't seem nothing yet!

This is an old trick the elite bankers used to topple the French monarchy. They baught up all the grain and created the shortage. This started the French revolution.

The elite are up to the same dirty trick. There's a war coming, you can smell it.

The fiat banking system will crumble. The currency becomes worthless and the job losses follow. Then the food lines...and then the WAR based on a pack of lies.. designed to reduce the population and send everyone to die for a lie.

And the big loser is me and you and every one of us except the elite who are laughing at how stupid people are and how powerless we are to do anything about it.

When food prices double that is hidden inflation of 100%. We are too blind to see that our money is becoming worthless very fast indeed.

When the price of petrol doubles that is also 100% hidden inflation.

My wage has not gone up in years, but I have seen the price of food double in that time and the cost of owning a house has tripled in those same 7 years. .. but this took 7 years. When the cost of food doubles in 1 short year..you know there is trouble up ahead.

People in UK should look back in history at the second world war. Farmers were making their own natural gas from manure because there was no gas to buy at all.

The same game that was played during the dirty 30's is happening again..and the end result was a global war that was funded by the elite bankers and corporations... and they funded both sides so everyone could wipe each other out. It's fascism and tyranny and order and control through chaos. And it's all a lie.

If you think food and gas is expensive now.... you ain't seen nothing yet!

Mike Knows

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Anonymous Coward

re: Sorry, but even so food is still cheap in the UK.

I can't comment on the supermarkets you use in the US, but during my visits over there, my weekly grocery bills have been invariably a good deal cheaper than over UK. Also if you look at any relative comparisons of grocery prices between the UK and US, the latter is always cheaper.

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And the point is..........

""Supermarket bacon must rise by 13p per pack to offset that loss, while eggs would have to go up by 20p on half a dozen.""

So ?

20 p half dozen is thrupeence an egg.

Raise the price and stop the whinning.

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Omelettes?

You can't make Omelettes without breaking eggs!!

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Buy locally

OK, it may not be an option for many, but if you live near a local farm the chances are there will be a farm shop and it cuts out the middlemen (supermarkets and delivery companies).

The price will be about the same but at least you know it's going to help the producer and you at least know the conditions of where your food came from. Some parts are part of a national "local food" organisation (sorry, can't remember the web URL) and you can even buy online and get it delivered by the farm.

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Anonymous Coward

lol

so what, anon gets all its meat from New Zealand.

It comes over on a very nice boat I'm sure.

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@ lol

Re NZ meat... you'll find theres a lot less truth to the "food miles" arguement if you look at the production systems in the UK and NZ, in the UK, tractors burning diesel plow and plant grain and crops, tractors then harvest grains and silage, tractors then feed that out daily to stock kept indoors away from the weather where they will grow better. Lots of diesel. then they're trucked to the works, the packed meat trucked to the chiller storeage warehouses, and trucked to the supermarkets.

NZ, a guy on a small motorbike whips round the paddocks chasing cows from one paddock to the other every few days. then they're trucked tot he works, packed into containers and loaded on a ship for export, unloaded overseas into chiller storage, and trucked to the supermarket.

There was a study as part of the kyoto agreement data collection on agriculture for CO2 emissions. UK intensive crop feeding meat rearing caused 3 times the CO2 from burning fuel from paddock to plate than NZ Pastoral meat rearing from pasture to plate. even including shipping CO2 emissions from the boats.

Oh yes... You can't blame us for the sausages or bacon either. NZ is a net IMPORTER of pork products, only 40% of our pork consumption is NZ raised, the rest is imported from asian sources as cooked product.

Or was... the goverment has stuck their collective head up their assholes, ignored that Foot and mouth is endemic in asian herds, and decided to allow uncooked pork product in.

I think it's time for a new holiday, Guy Fawkes failed over there, we need a success over here...

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