A lot of questions have been up in the air following the results of the Britain’s EU referendum. No matter how you voted, you’re probably trying to work out how the country leaving the EU is going to affect you.
While we can’t say anything for definite – nor can anyone else it would seem – there are a few areas that we can speculate on. Although, even the experts are scratching their heads a little bit so we really can’t be certain!
One area that could be affected by the EU exit is food. It can be difficult enough as it is to keep your kitchen cupboards stocked with your family’s favourites, as well as healthy food, but is it going to get more tricky and expensive to do your weekly shop?
Unfortunately, it looks like your pennies may not stretch quite as far when it comes to food if certain bodies can be believed.
According to the National Farmers Union (NFU), we could see prices go in the wrong direction. This is due to a combination of the weak state of the pound following the announcement of a Brexit win and the fact that the UK is dependent on food imports.
Meurig Raymond, president of the NFU, told the Guardian that as Britain only produces around 60 per cent of the food the country consumes, we need to import produce to supplement our needs. This could get more expensive to do now that the pound is not as valuable.
But it isn’t just imported food that could see a price hike, once the UK leaves the EU, farmers will lose out on around £3 billion worth of funding. It isn’t yet clear whether the government will be able to address this, but if they don’t, it will mean that running costs become higher.
As well as food prices being affected, leaving the EU means that the UK will no longer have to abide by its legislation when it comes to food produce. This could mean less regulation of things like pack size, labelling and product standards, which could ultimately mean you end up with a smaller amount and lower quality for a higher price.
On the plus side, no longer importing so much food from EU countries could open up new markets in other locations. It could also result in shorter supply chains, which could make it easier to detect food fraud, such as the horsemeat scandal.
Britain could also create its own food legislation that also looks at things like nutritional content of food, instead of just preventing food poisoning and the way that products look – which has been the EU’s focus. This could mean that we get better quality food all round in the supermarkets.
At the moment, no one knows exactly how these issues or others that the food industry in Britain has to deal with will play out. Just like everything else following the referendum results, it’s a bit of guessing game right now.
However, it is a good idea to budget your weekly shops – no matter what happens – and to support local producers, who could always do from your support. Avoid panicking just yet, as nothing is set in stone.