‘Get used to higher food prices’: Kraft Heinz boss

The boss of the Heinz Beans manufacturer said it was raising prices around the world as a result of a broad range of costs on the business.

In the UK, it was specifically the lack of truck drivers that had hurt the business the most, he told BBC News. Further afield in the US, a substantial rise in logistic costs and a shortage of labour in certain areas of the economy were drivers.

Patricio warned that these factors, plus a rising population and a lack of land on which to grow food, would ultimately mean consumers will have to put up with higher food prices.

Absorbing the costs

However, he urged food and drink firms to absorb as much of the costs that they could: “I think it’s up to us, and to the industry, and to the other companies to try to minimise these price increases.”

A spokesman for the British Meat Processors Association said those input costs will initially eat into the already small margins for processors but will eventually have to get passed on to customers.

“Whether those higher input costs prevail over the longer term will be dictated partly by Government’s immigration policy going forward and their willingness to plug stubborn skills and workforce gaps by exercising their new-found control over immigration with temporary, targeted measures,”​ they added.

The quest to maintain high standards across British meat has created its own set of costs for which processors will have a hard time dealing with post-EU exit.

As the spokesman explained: “The new post-Brexit system means that we no longer have access to a wider pool of workers so the consequent wage rises across many industries including ours render us less competitive than our neighbours.

Source: foodmanufacture.co.uk