Global demand could push up food prices by 20% over the next two to three years, said Matti Rihko, CEO of Finland-based Raisio Group.

Rihko, who heads a company with interests in the dairy and cereal sectors, pointed to the growth in biofuels production and rising demand in Asia.

“The impact of the rising demand on grains for bio-energy purposes, and the growing demand for foods in Asia could be compounded by exceptional weather conditions in Europe,” Rihko said. “I would expect that food price rises will increase in Finland and in Europe generally by around 20% in the next two to three years.”

Global warming could also have a serious impact on driving up prices, Rihko added. “We can look forward to fluctuations in demand and food prices.”

The gradual increase in food prices was seen in Raisio’s second-quarter results, which generated a pretax profit of EUR2.6m, up from EUR2.4m on the same period last year. Revenues reached EUR107m.