Britain will be forced to become a net importer of wheat for the first time in a decade this year, after the recent bitter weather devastated crops.
A disastrous 12-month cycle of poor weather has ruined harvests across the UK, costing farmers an estimated £500m, the chief economist of the National Farmers Union (NFU) warned.
The conditions mean Britain – traditionally a significant net exporter of wheat – will have to boost imports by more than a million tonnes.
While the effect on the price of a loaf of bread is expected to be minimal, the dismal harvests will increase the country’s reliance on the secretive trading firms which dominate the international grain market.
The crop damage deals a further blow to Britain’s beleaguered farming industry, which is already reeling from a spate of recent livestock deaths due to the cold weather. To make matters worse, the weather has made planting new crops more difficult and damaged many of the seeds that have been sown in recent weeks.
Read more at The Independent