The Government’s energy support package for business has received a cautious welcome from the NFU.
Prime Minister Liz Truss has revealed business energy costs, like those of private households, will be capped for the next six months.
The move comes as prices continue to escalate amid the cost-of-living crisis and the war in Ukraine.
After the first three months of the price guarantee, the scheme will be reviewed in a bid to identify sectors requiring additional support.
Responding to the news, NFU president Minette Batters said she welcomed the plan – but also urged the Government to consider what comes next.
“We welcome the detail announced in the energy support package which will provide a much-needed cushion for farmers, growers and food businesses which are vulnerable to high wholesale energy prices,” she said.
“Given the package does not cover limits on standing charges, it’s essential the Government continues to assess the full impact that energy bills will have on business confidence and production.
“We also need urgent clarity on what support will be available for food businesses after the initial six-month period.
“Energy plays a core role in the production of our food and throughout the food supply chain, from fertiliser production and heating glasshouses and livestock buildings, to baking bread and keeping facilities clean.
“We simply can’t produce the food the nation needs without affordable energy.
“Because of this close link between energy and food, the Government must prioritise access to affordable energy for food production and the food supply chain.
“Continued support will be key for curtailing food price inflation going forward and ensuring the provision of affordable, nutritious, climate-friendly food for the country.”