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Winter freeze boosts food prices

Winter freeze boosts food prices
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The severe winter weather battering Europe is pushing up the cost of food, creating difficulties for growers.

European wheat prices hit an almost eight month high this week on concerns about the damage to crops from the freezing conditions.

In France market gardeners said they have had to ratchet up the heating in greenhouses which is costly.

Fruit grower Guillaume Seguin said: “In the past week we’ve been seeing temperatures as low as minus 13, minus 14 degrees, especially in the morning. Since Monday the temperatures have been below freezing even during the day.”

And that is forecast to continue until the end of the week.

In freezing conditions, harvesting those crops that survive is more difficult.

In southern Europe particularly, which is not used to this kind of weather, it has been hard to transporting produce with many roads closed by snow and ice.

Some canals and rivers have also frozen, including the Danube, disrupting shipping on those inland waterways.

The Italian Farmers Confederation wants the government to declare a state of emergency, saying tens of thousands of animals have already been lost and as many as two million cows and pigs could die due to lack of food and water.

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