pasta prices soar in uk

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    By Stephen Hayward Consumer Correspondent [email protected]/02/2008
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    pasta, shortage

    (What's this?)Pasta lovers were warned yesterday that spaghetti could soon be off the menu as supplies run short.

    The crisis has been caused by Italian farmers, who usually grow the durum wheat for 99 per cent of all UK pasta products, now cashing in by instead selling it for biofuel.

    This has sparked a worldwide shortage of raw ingredients and sent prices rocketing.

    A 400gram tin of spaghetti hoops in tomato sauce could rise from 44p to 88p. A spokesman for Heinz, which sells 140million tins of pasta meals a year, said: "Food commodities are under an awful lot of price pressure because of the rising cost of ingredients across the board."

    A 500g pack of dried pasta has already doubled to 61p since last summer. Producers say it could shoot up another 30p. Nigel Singh, of York pasta giant Pasta Lensi, says many producers can't cope.

    He said: "For farmers, manufacturers and retailers to make a fair income, a 500g pack should sell for 90p."

    Some food firms are even scrapping pasta production because they are unable to pass on soaring costs to customers.

    Makers Bakkavor last week announced it was closing its pasta plant at Scunthorpe, Lincs, with the loss of 100 jobs.

    The news adds to shoppers' woes, coming on the back of price hikes for basics such as milk, eggs and bread.

    400g tin of spaghetti hoops could go up 44p, to cost 88p

    500g pack of dried pasta has gone up from 31p to 61p

    And it may go up another 30p on top of that

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