Food prices were 7% higher in June compared to a year ago, the fastest rate in the last 18 months, according to new figures released today. The latest report by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) found that fresh food had increased the most, soaring by 8.4%, with veal, beef, pork and oils showing the largest rises. The cost of an average 1.1lb packet of minced beef had increased from £1.40 to £1.89. Staple products such as pasta, rice and flour were up by 5.1%, although the research found that supermarkets were not passing on the full price rises to customers. Stephen Robertson, the director general of the BRC, said: “Despite annual increases of 60% and 80% in world agricultural prices and oil respectively, UK food prices have only increased by 7%. “Although their own costs are going up, food retailers are running high-profile price cuts and promotions. They are keeping prices to customers down by cutting costs and increasing sales.” Import costs were shown to be one of the main reasons for the higher food prices, partly due to the weak pound. A report by the Office of National Statistics released yesterday highlighted that food import prices were rising at their fastest rate since records began in 1981. Imported food and drink prices jumped by 19.3% in the year to May, according to the ONS data.