Food prices could rocket by 10% this year for struggling Brits, M&S chief warns

M&S chairman Archie Norman said a 10% rise won’t be surprising after a warning of ‘apocalyptic’ food price rises came from the governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey

Shoppers have had to cope with rising food prices
Shoppers have had to cope with rising food prices

Food prices could soar by 10% this year, the chairman of Marks & Spencer declared today.

Brits face another battering from soaring inflation after the warning from Archie Norman, a former Tory MP who leads the upmarket giant.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It wouldn’t be surprising to see food price inflation over the course of the year running towards 8% to 10%.

“But we don’t know that yet because it runs through the year, some has gone through now but quite a lot’s still to come.”

Asked if food price rises would be “apocalyptic”, he said: “Um, I think, you, you, have to keep it in context.” He said wages were rising well and added he wouldn’t describe it as apocalyptic.

It came moments after official figures showed Britain’s jobless rate has fallen to its lowest level for over 47 years – yet workers have seen their pay fall as inflation soars.

Archie Norman told the BBC: “It wouldn’t be surprising to see food price inflation over the course of the year running towards 8% to 10%”


Adrian Brooks/Imagewise)

Regular pay excluding bonuses dropped by 2.9% in March when taking Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation into account – the biggest fall since November 2011.

Yesterday the governor of the Bank of England warned of “apocalyptic” food price rises due to the war in Ukraine.

Andrew Bailey used the eye-popping phrase as he admitted the situation is “very, very difficult” as inflation soars.

And despite talks on whether to use interest rate rises to bring inflation under control, Mr Bailey admitted “there’s not a lot we can do about 80% of it”.

Meanwhile Mr Norman hit out at Brexit checks on goods going into Northern Ireland and the Republic from the rest of the UK – as Boris Johnson prepares to rip up his own rules.

He said: “At the moment wagons arriving in the Republic of Ireland have to carry 700 pages of documentation, it takes eight hours to prepare the documentation.

“It takes eight hours to prepare the documentation” for Brexit, the M&S chief said


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“Some of the descriptors particularly of animal product have to be written in Latin, it has to be in a certain typeface.”

Mr Norman said it takes 30% more driver time at a “very onerous cost of about £30m”.

It comes after normally reserved Bank of England chief Andrew Bailey spoke out yesterday to MPs on the Commons Treasury Committee.

Mr Bailey said “Ukraine and Russia is the big risk in a way,” including the risk of a further energy price shock if gas and diesel supplies are cut off.

He added: “I’m afraid the one I’m going to sound, I guess, rather apocalyptic about, is food.

“So I was in Washington at the IMF World Bank Spring meeting… we had the Ukrainian finance minister there… I have to tell you I think this is a big concern.

Bank chief Andrew Bailey said “Ukraine and Russia is the big risk in a way”



“Because I think two things the finance minister said – one is Ukraine does have food in store but it can’t get it out at the moment.

“Two, while he was optimistic about crop planting, as you know Ukraine is a major supplier of wheat and… cooking oils… we have no way of shipping it out as things stand and it is getting worse.

“That is a major worry – and it’s not just I have to tell you a major worry for this country, it is a major worry for the developing world as well.

“Sorry for being apocalyptic for the moment, but that’s a major concern.”

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