The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has this month criticised the government’s decision to increase fuel duty by 2p per litre.
FTA director of external affairs Geoff Dossetter told British Baker: "Significant increases in fuel prices are bad news for bakery and ingredient distributors.
"Almost everything the nation consumes every day of the year is the product of a lorry journey and the government will now increase the cost of all of those journeys."
As of 1 October, fuel duty on diesel increased to 50.35p per litre, the highest rate in Europe, where the average level is 22.7p per litre, the FTA said.
The cost of oil itself on the world market is now over $79 (£39) per barrel and has increased by almost 14% over the last month. The current price of a litre of bulk diesel is 79.68p per litre excluding VAT, which is only just below the record levels seen in May 2006.
World prices remain extremely volatile. The 2p-per-litre rise in fuel duty will increase the annual operating costs of one 44-tonne articulated lorry by £870 to £35,600, said the FTA.
Significantly, the 2p-per-litre fuel duty increase takes the pump price of diesel to over £1 per litre - no doubt to be quickly followed by petrol, said the FTA.
"It is very disappointing that at a time of such turbulence in world oil prices, the government has chosen to impose a further increase in costs for industry," added Dossetter. "Even at this late stage, the government should recognise the extent of the problem and reconsider imposing this unnecessary increase in fuel duty."