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Feb 242011

(Washington, DC) — Consumers could see food prices jump more than three-percent this year due to higher commodity and energy prices.

The Agriculture Department is predicting much of the sharp increase will come in the second half of 2011 due to recent price upticks for corn and soybeans.

Officials say price of meat, poultry, fish, cereals and baked goods could rise by four-percent this year.

Prices for fruits and vegetables could go up more than three-percent by the end of this year.

Kellogg, the world's largest breakfast cereal company, and consumer goods giant Unilever, have raised their prices to offset higher costs for ingredients such as grains and sugar.

Walmart, America's biggest grocer, is working with suppliers to keep its food costs down as much as possible.

Some global experts fear soaring food prices could threaten fragile political and social conditions in regions including the Middle East and Central Asia.

(Copyright 2011 by VERTEXNews/Newsroom Solutions)