Chancellor To Hold Meeting With Supermarket Executives

The executives of Britain’s major supermarket groups are set to meet the UK Chancellor Alistair Darling later today to discuss the threat posed to Britain’s economy of spiralling food prices.
The Chancellor will meet with representatives from supermarkets including Tesco and Asda as well as the National Farmers’ Union (NFU), the British Retail Consortium and commodity traders to talk about the effect of rising food prices on the UK economy .
The move is the latest high-profile meeting to be held by the Chancellor following his £2.7bn climbdown this month over the controversial 10p tax rate .
Mr Darling’s concern over increasing food prices was highlighted last week after he sent a letter to European finance ministers urging a reform of agricultural subsidies and tariffs .
“Rising global food and energy prices are increasing inflationary pressures across the world economy, hitting poorest households the hardest and threatening to reverse the progress we have made over the past few years in reducing poverty,” he reportedly said in his letter.
According to accountancy firm Ernst and Young, rising food and energy prices make up more than half the UK’s 3 per cent inflation rate .
The Downing Street summit follows claims by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) that growing global demand for agricultural produce could drive a 5 per cent hike in UK food prices over the next decade – nearly double the official rate of inflation .

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