The National Farmers Union has confirmed that for the first time in a decade Britain will become a net importer of wheat.
NFU president Peter Kendall said more than two million tonnes of wheat had been lost because of last year’s poor summer.
Peter Kendall speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme said the average yield fell from 7.8 tonnes a hectare to 6.7 tonnes last summer. The prospect looks no better for the 2013 harvest as farmers had only managed to get three quarters of the planned wheat planted this year, so the UK was already 25% down on potential production.
Mr Kendall did however confirm that the shortage was unlikely to affect the price of bread because of the global nature of the market. Onlt about 10% of the cost of a loaf is attributable to the wheat, the rest due to processing, transport and packaging.