Horticulture crop input prices have risen significantly in the past twelve months, not just due to external macroeconomic factors, but also due to the invasion of Ukraine. Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority, has revised the figures on input price inflation, first reported in November 2021, to reflect the full extent of inflation in the past twelve months up to 31st March 2022.
Primary producers, for the most part, have received some retail price increases in the last twelve months, but the recent pace of inflation means that achieving a margin over costs for many horticultural enterprises in 2022 is becoming more challenging. A market response will be required to ensure the viability of the industry.
Valued at €477 million at farm gate level, horticulture is the fourth largest sector in Ireland; horticulture food includes mushrooms, potatoes, field vegetables, soft fruit, protected crops and outdoor fruit.
The Teagasc Horticulture Development Department recently assessed horticulture input price inflation across a large number of inputs, gathered and validated data. Across all enterprises, there has been a sharp increase in the cost of energy, labor, packaging materials, fertilizer, and a range of other inputs that are key components of production. Teagasc estimate that total input costs have increased by between 13% and 49% depending on enterprise type.