The head of a British supermarket chain has warned some Britons can’t afford to boil potatoes
Rising energy prices in Britain have seen some poorer citizens turn down potatoes offered at food banks as they cannot afford to boil them, the head of Iceland Foods Ltd supermarket chain has claimed.
In an interview with the BBC Radio 4 Today program on Wednesday, Richard Walker said the “cost of living crisis is the single most important domestic issue we are facing as a country.” He cited reports from some food banks that users are “declining products such as potatoes and other root veg because they can’t afford to boil them.”
Walker said food price inflation was “pushing 10%” – an estimate remarkably higher than the 5.1% annual figure provided by the Office for National Statistics. The supermarket chain boss pointed out that price hikes have been particularly evident when it comes to items such as milk, whose production involves several stages, with the cost of every part of the process rising.
He concluded that high food prices were here to stay and that it could be argued that, systematically, “Food has been too cheap for too long.” He said the pressure on chains was “relentless and coming at us from all angles” as they tried to keep prices down.
Explaining the ballooning costs, he blamed rising oil prices, worker shortages, and the falling supply of Russian fertilizers and Ukrainian sunflower oil over the past month.