Britons face fresh crisis as cucumber prices set to soar

Cost of living: Bristol resident labels food prices 'outrageous'

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The fresh produce, which cost around 40p last year, could now climb above £1. A major reason for this is the fossil fuel energy crisis currently gripping the nation, as growers find it difficult to cope with spiralling gas prices and the high temperatures required to grow the popular greens. The UK has around 45 cucumber growers, mostly in the Lea Valley north of London.

The energy bills have particularly hit cucumber growers, as the cucumbers need to be constantly stored at 18C, which means that heaters are required during the winter and at night.

One therm of gas – or 600 gallons – was around 50p five years ago, however it is now expected to soar above £7.

Farmers using gas boilers will take the brunt of the price increase, while those with larger greenhouses and modern boilers will be less affected.

Ian Bedford of the Cucumber Growers’ Association warned that producers were deeply concerned about the cost of living crisis in Britain, according to the MailOnline.

He said: “Prices will have to go beyond £1 for growers to make a living.

“Growers are frightened for next year. The forecasts [for gas prices] are crazy.”

Food price inflation has hit its highest level since 2008, with a further 10.5 percent rise in costs recorded in August.

According to the British Retail Consortium, food producers have been forced to pass on the increased cost of fertiliser, wheat, and vegetable oils – large amounts of which are produced in Ukraine and Russia, in order to continue farming and producing items.

According to figures from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation, the cost of low-fat milk has skyrocketed by 34 percent in the past year.

Meanwhile, butter is now 27.1 percent more expensive while pasta and couscous costs 24.4 percent more.

Britain’s energy woes energy could soon deepen as gas prices reach record high levels after Vladimir Putin “indefinitely” suspended the critical Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

Late on Friday, Russian state-backed energy behemoth Gazprom announced the Nord Stream 1 pipeline transporting gas from Russia to Germany had been suspended indefinitely following reports of a gas leak.

The leading European benchmark, known as the Dutch TTF, which has risen by more than 400 percent over the past year, was up by another 30 percent.

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Javier Blas, author and energy expert tweeted: “European natural gas prices open sharply higher after Russia shut downs sine die the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.

“TTF front-month futures up ~25% to €260 per MWh (equal to >$75 per Btu, or $440 per barrel of oil equivalent).”

Nathan Piper, an oil and gas analyst at Investec, said: “We are expecting record gas prices across UK/Europe next week as the impact of long-term restrictions of Russia gas supply is absorbed by the market following the indefinite shutdown of the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.”

He added that the gas price “will remain volatile, and I’d expect a sharp move up tomorrow towards record 700-800p a therm highs”.

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