Wednesday 13 October 2021 6:26 pm

Chicken boss warns shoppers face price hikes in 'different world'

Food prices are set to rise 10 per cent thanks to uncontrollable inflation, the boss of Britain’s biggest chicken firm has warned.

Ranjit Boparan, founder of 2 Sisters Food Group, told The Telegraph that consumers were facing a “great food reset,” amid supply chain disruptions.

Food companies will have no choice but to pass costs on to shoppers, he added.

“Food is too cheap, there’s no point avoiding the issue. In relative terms, a chicken today is cheaper to buy than it was 20 years ago,” Boparan said.

He said it was not right that “a whole chicken costs less than a pint of beer,” and said it was a “different world from now on,” with increased grocery bills.

The government issued some 5,000 emergency visas for HGV drivers for overseas workers to plug shortages that have caused delivery issues for supermarkets.

However, bosses said this wasn’t enough to address the shortfall as well as concerns the scheme will not recruit many drivers in time for Christmas.

Boparan added: “Three months ago I was vocal about the Government needing to help with labour issues. I’ve now come to the conclusion that in reality it can’t fix all the problems, nor can it control inflation.

“Less labour means less choice, core ranges, empty shelves and wage inflation, and this isn’t going to change.”

Farms that supply poultry firms have experienced cost increases of up to 20 per cent for feed, wood shavings and disinfectant, against a backdrop of rising energy costs, the founder said.