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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt meets with food manufacturers and CMA to discuss UK food inflation

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2 min read
AUTHOR: Fiona Holland
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt, man sitting at table looking face forward inbetween two Union Jack flags, wooden wall background

Image credit: Number 10

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt met with food producers and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) this week to talk about skyrocketing food inflation in the UK.

Hunt spoke with manufacturers about current food prices and how they’re affecting household budgets, mentioning that halving inflation was ‘a top priority’ for 2023, according to a Government statement.

Food price inflation has slowed for the second month in a row, according to Kantar’s latest figures, going up by 17.2% from a year ago in the four weeks to May, which is down from 17.3% recorded last month. Despite this slight decrease, the data analytics company says the inflation rate could add £833 to an average household’s annual grocery bill.

During the meeting, manufacturers shared their perspectives on the causes of food inflation. The Chancellor also referred to the support package Rishi Sunak announced for the food sector at the Farm to Fork Summit last week, and said food producers would continue to work with senior Government ministers to develop measures that can reduce the pressure of inflation on consumers.

Hunt also met with the CMA this week, following its announcement of plans to investigate weakening competition in the UK grocery market and assess its contribution to rising food prices. He said the Government would be ‘ready to update pricing rules and guidance’ following the watchdog review.

The Government’s approach towards food inflation has been met with a mixed response from the food industry, with some attendees of last week’s food summit describing the meeting as a series of promises with little definitive action.

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