The need to increase global food production will result in rising food prices, according to the English Farming and Food Partnership (EFFP).

Speaking at the partnership's sixth annual conference, Sion Roberts, EFFP chief executive, warned that despite signs that the economy will improve next year, the new "normal" for UK consumers of food is one that will be more constrained than over the last two decades.

"The evolution of food prices is a complicated picture but one that will shape the food chain's future dynamics. We've moved out of a period of over 20 years where food prices fell in real terms," Roberts said. "Since 2006 there has been a rapid increase in food price inflation; over the next two years we predict that prices will remain generally subdued."

However, Roberts added: "But don't be fooled. The need to increase global food production by 50% by 2030 means that food prices are likely to rise not fall over the long-term. The recession has moved UK consumers from relative prosperity in a period of low food price inflation to a period of enforced frugality."

Roberts warned that its prediction of this new era of "cost/value focus" is one that will remain for some years to come as the affordability of food continues to be constrained.

According to the EFFP's Retail Food Price Forecast, the consultancy predicts that the level of food prices will rise "very modestly" during 2010 and 2011. However, by the third quarter of 2011, the price of food is predicted to be 19% higher than it was at the start of 2007.

"What happens to the affordability of food over the next two years depends critically on the shape and speed of the UK's recovery from recession," the report noted.