IT'S high time that supermarkets stepped up to the mark and recognise that the very staples that fill their shelves every day, of every week across the entire year are under threat from a rising tide of input costs to primary producers that are becoming harder – and in some cases impossible – to thole.

Massive rises in fuel, feed and fertiliser are only the headline acts that are impacting on the bottom lines for those who produce milk, eggs and meat. Other input costs are rising at a rate that has never been seen this side of World War II.

Consumerism, we know, is driven by price, yet just about every commodity that's being Amazone-d and Deliveroo-ed around the country is on the rise. And it's not just by a few pence, either. Simple electronic devices that could be had for a handful of £s last year are in the tens of £s this year.

Read more: Supermarkets soar in Scottish red meat charts

There are a whole lot of reasons for it. Transport, energy costs, production difficulties brought on by a lack of raw materials, Brexit and, of course – one familiar to agriculture – labour shortages. There seems to be no problem shovelling price increase on to desirable [but unnecessary?] white consumer goods – but then, they rarely appear on the official 'Cost of living' data sets that government makes so much of.

Is that the reason why simple foodstuffs are not rising at the same rate? Just to keep Government inflation figures down? Well this industry has got news for them – it cannot last much longer.

When feed wheat hits £250 per tonne delivered – or in simple terms about roughly twice what it cost last year – then all sorts of livestock that rely on it for production will be affected. The other 'big' news is – and the industry has been banging on about this for months – there are no suppliers elsewhere in the world that can readily pick up for any shortfalls in production here, or indeed in the rest of Europe which appears to have freer access to our market than we have to theirs.

For instance, farmgate red meat prices in both Australia and New Zealand are at least on a par with ours. Why would they need to ship product half-way around the world to get less for it when transport costs are accounted for?

Even if there were able to do so, the shipping necessary to bring it here is has gone AWOL – even, we are told, Christmas gifts are under threat. However, there's a a huge difference between the latest 'toys to have' not being had under the Christmas tree ... and a lack of produce to fill the Xmas dinner table with.

Read more: ASDA accused of 'arrogant complacency' over Scottish produce

The message is clear. The industry can respond to market demands very quickly ... but only when there's business reason to do so. In other words, those supermarkets who buy direct and the middle men who help them sources supplies, need to start paying what has to be paid to maintain the production of beef, lamb, eggs and dairy products.

Whatever happened to supermarket contracts that were based on the 'cost of production'. It seems to have all gone quiet over there ...