- Local authority inspections of food businesses in the UK have fallen, according to a report.
- The high cost of living has also left consumers with fewer types of food they can afford.
Following the departure from the European Union (EU), combined with the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, the UK's food system has seen significant disruption for two years. According to a new report, the country's food standards have largely been maintained despite the pressures. However, some challenges need to be addressed.
The inaugural report, released by the FSA (Food Standards Agency) and FSS (Food Standards Scotland), highlighted that local authority inspections of food businesses had seen a decline. While efforts have been made to better the situation, the lack of resources has restricted progress, it added.
The report further said that improved controls must be implemented for 'higher-risk' EU food coming to the UK, like meat, dairy, and eggs, by the end of 2023.
© Branex | Megapixl.com
Cost of living crisis adding to the problems
With the soaring food prices, another challenge is the choices that people are left with. As per the report, the cost-of-living crisis has put significant pressure on household budgets, restricting people in terms of the types of food they can buy. Access to healthy and within-means food has become the consumers' priority now. According to the data, more than three in four (76%) people expressed concern or extreme concern about food prices.
The report stressed that it is 'almost certain' to be more challenging for people to afford healthy and sustainable food this year.
Food stocks in the UK to check out
Associated British Foods Plc (LON: ABF)
Associated British Foods is a food processing company with operations in more than 50 countries and customers in over 100. It is listed on the blue-chip FTSE 100 index. The company holds a market cap of £13,034.92 million. Its stock price has fallen over 26% in the last one year. Those who bought it for the long term haven't been quite lucky with the returns either, with the stock down more than 43% in the last five years.
The shares were trading at GBX 1,653.12, up by 0.40%, as of 8:20 am GMT+1 on 28 June 2022.
Cranswick Plc (LON: CWK)
The leading British food producer supplies bread, meats, and snacks and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 index. The company has a market cap of £1,676.27 million at present. The shares were trading at GBX 3,142.00 at 8:30 am GMT+1 on Tuesday, which is a discount of about -24.74% from its 52-week high of GBX 4,200. The one-year return of the share has been -20.71%, and the earnings per share (EPS) currently stand at 1.76.
Premier Foods Plc (LON: PFD)
Premier Foods owns many popular brands like Cadbury, Mr Kipling, Lyons, etc. With a market cap of £1,006.45 million, its shares have provided a return of 10.94% to the investors over the past year. On the other hand, long-term investors have benefitted from the 190% return the stock has provided in the last five years. The stock price was hovering around GBX 117.60, 0.86% higher, at 8:20 am GMT+1 on 28 June 2022.
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