Edenred Website

Responses to the Inflation Crisis in Europe: Securing the Food Budget to Safeguard Citizens’ Purchasing Power

Virtual webinar: Register now


The war in Ukraine and the subsequent economic and energetic crisis are affecting all levels of society, with a special harm to low-income households. Regardless of the country, the inflation is rising hitting over 40% in August, with prices are breaking historical records. This is exacerbated by the price rise of several basic food products. Wheat and sunflower oil, aliments at the core of our diet, were massively imported from Ukraine and Russia before the war. And as the incompressible expenses are skyrocketing (energy bills, rent, credits), households’ purchasing power is threatened.


In this context, citizens, and especially the most vulnerable ones, see their food budget worryingly decrease. Among them, low-income workers and pensioners, young adults and multi-child families. Therefore, policy responses are needed to secure the food budget and avoid all the negative consequences in terms of public health and productivity for the economy that food insecurity and the shift towards cheaper and less healthy food alternatives could bring.


While Europe fears a recession, populations expect governments to shield the most vulnerable communities against inflation. Food policies and food security should be on top of Europe’s agenda to maintain social cohesion.


To deepen the reflection on the links between precarity and food, the exchange will raise the following questions:


  • How high inflation affects households’ budget, in particular low-income workers and vulnerable communities?
  • The importance of food security in a crisis context.
  • The role of public administrations in ensuring a healthy and sustainable alimentation to low-income workers in an inflation context.


To address these questions, we will welcome :




Professor Martin Caraher, Emeritus Professor of Food and Health Policy, City University of London


Martin is Emeritus Professor of Food and Health Policy at the Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London. He originally trained as an environmental health officer in Dublin. After working in the north west of Ireland he developed an interest in the public health and health promotion aspects of the work. He spent some time working in the Irish and the English health services managing health promotion and public health services respectively.


He has worked for and acted as a consultant to the UK Dept of Health, the World Bank and the World Health Organisation. He was a trustee of the Caroline Walker trust. He was a member of the original London Food Board which developed the food strategy for London. He was a member of the Olympic Food Group representing public health interests on behalf of public health in the region. He also sat on the South East Food and Public Health Group which developed a food strategy for the SE region and from which the London food strategy emerged.


He currently acts as an advisor on food matters to a number of social science research groups across Europe, as well he is an advisor to the European Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (DG Sanco). He is a member of the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF) scientific committee. He sits on the safefood Irl scientific committee, which is an all -Ireland body set up under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. 


He was the 2008 HealthWays (West Australia) scholar and spent two months in Perth, WA examining issues of access to food and food banks (Aus$20K). During this period he worked with local service providers, policy makers and academics. He was the Thinker in residence at Deakin, University, Melbourne in 2012/13 (see http://youtu.be/UabUGsqVgIc).


Martin regularly reviews for a wide range of journals and organisations ranging from Public Health Nutrition to Social Science and Medicine.


He regularly appears on TV and radio in relation to food issues.


Read more here.




Maria del Mar Cantero Guerrero, Research Support Officer, Eurofound


Maria del Mar Cantero Guerrero is a research support officer in the Working Life unit at Eurofound. She is involved in quality control and analysis of Eurofound's EU PolicyWatch database and in topics related to minimum wages and national reporting on industrial relations, social dialogue and working life. Maria del Mar previously worked as a statistician and market analyst at the International Trade Centre in Geneva, identifying export opportunities in collaboration with international organisations and national government institutions. She holds a Master's degree in Empirical and Theoretical Economics from the Paris School of Economics.







Tuesday 28 November, 2023





Policies & Practices