The Farmers’ Union of Wales has written to the UK’s major retailers highlighting the need for ongoing support for Welsh and UK food given the impacts of the Russian war on Ukraine on input costs.

Although UK farmgate milk prices have increased by around 20 per cent over the past twelve months and deadweight lamb and beef prices continue to trend significantly above the five year averages, UK producers are finding themselves needing to make important changes to their farm businesses with serious concerns for the coming winter and beyond when it comes to fodder availability.

In his letter, FUW President Glyn Roberts said: "I have no doubt that you will be aware of the stark increases in food production costs farmers across the globe have and are continuing to experience.

“Alongside possible shortages and unavailability of animal feed ingredients such as maize and sunflower meal, the AHDB has estimated there will be a 40 per cent year-on-year increase in the price of feed concentrates.

"Average red diesel prices increased by 75.4 pence per litre, or 50 per cent, between February 10 and March 10, and average fertiliser prices have more than tripled since last year, with some types of nitrogen based fertiliser reaching almost £1,000 a tonne.”

“Despite the annual UK inflation rate increasing to 6.2 per cent and the cost of food in the UK increasing by five per cent compared with 2021 levels, year on year supermarket red meat prices and dairy retail markets remain relatively unchanged.

"Therefore, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the real impacts of the war will not be felt in the UK for months as Welsh and global food production falls due to shortages and unaffordable input prices."

“We would also urge you to ensure that the farming industry has confidence that this support will continue into the future, such that decisions made now that will impact yields and production later this year and into 2023 protect domestic production and UK food security.