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British Berry Growers says berry growers are under increased pressure from inflationary costs

Berry growers may have to reduce amount of berries they grow due to ongoing inflationary production costs, British Berry Growers has warned.

The industry body this week said the sector was coming under ever-increasing pressure from the rising cost of production. But in echoes of the issues faced by egg producers in recent months, growers were still not receiving increased returns, particularly in strawberries, the largest product in the berry category.

According to The Andersons farm business consultancy, total production cost inflation for 2022 was estimated at a minimum of 15%, bringing total input inflation for growers over the past two years to at least 26%.

“If we don’t address this disconnect, British berry growers will start to reduce the numbers of berries they grow, as they are unable to make a profit,” said BBG chairman Nick Marston. “None of us wants that, least of all consumers, who love buying and eating British berries.”

It comes as data from the British Retail Consortium showed a 13.3% increase in food inflation for December 2022.

BBG said this showed a widening of the inflation gap between retailers and growers, which could increase “instability” in the category.

“Retailers seem to be looking after themselves at the expense of British growers,” claimed Marston.

“British Berry Growers is calling for retailers to pay a fair and sustainable price for British berries, so that we can all continue to enjoy home-grown berries in years to come,” he added.

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