The Food Briefing (1)
05 April 2022
The war in Ukraine is having enormous effects on the food supply chain. Inside Ukraine, farmers are facing new challenges amidst the conflict, as Russian soldiers have been accused of laying mines alongside agricultural land, making it highly dangerous for farmers to operate. Agricultural storage facilities have also been targets of bombings. The United States Department for Agriculture predicted the conflict could result in 7 million tonnes less wheat in this year's supply chain. Back in the UK, some farmers are already sowing fewer crops due to major concerns about the energy costs for fuel and the possibility of scarce feed availability to support animals.
Ukraine and Russia were both significant exporters of grains and oilseeds, which has also impacted the availability of sunflower oil with food brand KTC halting sales until they find new sources. 2 Sisters, one of the UK’s largest food producers, has warned that input costs have already risen by as much as 50% in the last 12 months and could result in food inflation reaching 15% this year, far higher than the predicted 5%. Read more about Russia/Ukraine here
Children’s food products are being targeted by new research which demonstrates how packaging design and marketing is influencing young people’s diets for the worse. In the research paper, the authors note several elements which should be subject to further legislation, such as design elements that appeal to children (e.g. cartoon characters) and misleading nutritional claims. Providing clearer labelling about the nutritional content, especially elements such as high sugar, is highly recommended too.