Food inflation in the Irish Republic is running at 6%, its highest for six years, with double-digit price rises for some products, according to Goodbody Stockbrokers.

The Irish price of bread and cereals in November was 10% higher than a year earlier, while milk, cheese and egg prices had risen by 14%, it said. Richard Bruton from Fine Gael, the opposition party, claimed the increases would add about €20 a week to food bills.

But farmers said consumers could afford to pay more for food. "We live in a society where sirloin costs €10.69/kg while cocaine is €70/g," said Malcolm Thompson, president of the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers' Association.