Last year, everybody from the United Nations downwards was warning in strident tones about a food crisis, where not enough food would be produced to feed the world. We spoke of it in these pages often enough.
Read the following report in that light.
Cofigeo, a group which owns several food companies in France, has shut down four of its eight factories over energy costs, amounting to 80 per cent of its total production.
. . .
“This decision aims to cope with the spectacular increase in its energy costs (gas and electricity necessary for cooking and sterilizing cooked dishes and recipes), which will be multiplied by 10 from the beginning of the year,” the group said in a statement this week.
The group warned that its energy costs were set to surge this year, with president Mathieu Thomazeau saying, “It will go overnight, from 4 million to 40 million euros.”
Cofigeo is the first major food producer to enact such radical measures to deal with the costs of energy but according to Le Figaro, other companies in the sector are also facing great difficulty adjusting to the rising prices of energy.
Last month, Perifem, a federation of French supermarket chains, warned that France could face major issues with food spoilage due to possible power outages and cuts, as many supermarkets would not have adequate time to prepare for outages.
. . .
Energy to cook and preserve food for canning or ready-meals is not the only place that energy security and food security intersect. As reported by Breitbart London in recent months, the sudden surge in energy prices has also impacted the production of fertiliser, which is an energy-intensive process requiring natural gas. Without ready access to modern fertilisers, the crop yields of European farms can be expected to collapse.
There's more at the link.
That's one firm, in one country. Now multiply that by many firms in most European countries (including Britain, which may no longer be part of the European Union but still follows much the same policies). Yes, the problem is that widespread. There's lots of information out there about it, if you exercise due diligence and look for it. Add to food companies those that produce fertilizer, and the raw materials for same (including German giant BASF, which is the biggest supplier in the world of nitrogen fertilizers, AFAIK). They're in trouble, too.
When enough companies have such problems, there will come a tipping point. Worse, once that capacity leaves the food growing, processing and distribution market, it can't come back overnight. We're talking at least one growing season, if not two or three, to restore it. That's between six months and two or three years.
Got your food reserves in order? I used to reckon on a minimum of ten days to two weeks for everybody. Now I'm thinking two to three months of food may be the new minimum, and a year's supply is no longer merely a prepper's way-out-there wet dream. I've been surprised to hear from many readers that they're aiming for that much of a food reserve, as soon as they can save (and buy) enough. If you can afford it, or build it up over time, and have space to store it, why not?
As for fertilizers, just ask your local farmers what they're having to pay to get deliveries for their 2023 crops. In this part of the world, many are paying five to six times what they did last year. Some are only paying three times as much, because they had the foresight to lock in multi-year contracts; but even they have been told by their suppliers to pay higher prices, or do without. They have no choice but to pay up - or quit farming. Some have drastically altered their crop plans, choosing those that need less fertilizer. We may have a glut of soybeans next year, but a real shortage of wheat and corn.
Food for thought, as well as the body.