Farmers in New Brunswick say rising food costs are not their fault after a recent study predicts food prices will go up by as much as 3.5 per cent next year.

According to the University of Guelph's Food Price Index 2013 the most commonly used food items will see the biggest increases.

Milk is expected to go up as much as three per cent, bread by four per cent, and eggs by five per cent.

The president of the New Brunswick Agriculture Alliance said food prices have nowhere to go but up.

'I hate to be nit picky about consumers because they are our biggest partner, but when you look at the overall budget we spend about nine percent of our total income in Canada on food and there's a lot of other places in the world that are spending up to 20 percent.'—Jennifer MacDonald

Beef farmer Jennifer MacDonald said farmers have already made their operations as efficient as possible. 

"You know for the beef industry in particular for the last eight years we have been eating our equity. Now we've seen a turnaround in some prices, they've been improved a little, but we need a few years of half-decent prices in order to, not necessarily wipe out, but to help adjust for the eight years that we've had with less than our cost of production," she said.

MacDonald said consumers in Canada spend nine percent of their income on food while people in other parts of the world are spending twice that.

"I hate to be nit picky about consumers because they are our biggest partner, but when you look at the overall budget we spend about nine percent of our total income in Canada on food and there's a lot of other places in the world that are spending up to 20 percent so you've got to kind of look at priorities too.  What else are you spending your money on besides food?" she said.

She suggests consumers shop more carefully and stop throwing out much of what they buy.