Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Head Start

Norwegians were already there:
Most consumers in Norway aren't reeling from the effects of spiraling food prices elsewhere in the world, at least not yet -- largely because food prices in Norway already are so high, and so are incomes.

Norway's produce, meat and dairy industries are highly regulated, mostly to protect the country's agriculture industry against cheaper imports. That means consumers in Norway have long been accustomed to paying anywhere from double to four times the food prices found in many other countries, even for such basic items as milk, tomatoes or bread.

....Higher energy costs and inflation, however, have sent prices for several Norwegian products up, not least milk. Some individual products are suddenly up as much as 20-30 percent at the grocery store. Food prices overall, though, have gone up just 3 percent over the past year, compared to 44 percent globally.

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