Food industry union: Consumers' lives are becoming more expensive
Food prices will increase in the coming months due to the rising costs of electricity and fuel, said Sirje Potisepp, CEO of the Estonian Food Industry Association (Eesti toiduainetööstuse liit), on Vikeraadio on Friday morning.
"Electricity has become 2.5 times more expensive in a year. Gas almost three times - from €20 per kilowatt-hour to €60," she said. "There have also been wage increases. In addition, the cost of packaging has risen by an average of 25 percent, especially for plastics."
Raw materials have also risen. For example, rye has risen 30 percent.
"The basis of the entire food industry is grain," Potisepp said. "The pressure is on the entire supply chain from primary producers - farmers want a fairer pay. On the other hand, there has been a price war between chain stores since the beginning of the year."
She said competition between food producers is also extremely intense at the moment. One of the reasons is the influence of products subsidized by bigger European countries.
Potisepp said funds from the second pillar pension will not help. "The second pillar pension money will not be used to buy ham," she said.
"We know how many Estonians live in poverty or on the brink of poverty," said Potisepp. "60 percent of Estonian consumers always look at prices and look for discount offers. Consumers' lives are becoming more expensive."
The annual growth of the consumer price index in Estonia has reached 5 percent in recent months, even before the acceleration of electricity prices.
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Editor: Helen Wright