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#Risingfoodprices: blame the cows


cows 1029077 640Here’s a shocking figure. A survey by The Grocer magazine, reported in the Times, says that the cost of supermarket own-brand butter has increased by up to 53% over the year as wholesale costs rise 80% due to small farmers stopping dairy production – while apparently the popularity of Great British Bake Off means demand for butter is high. The British Retail Consortium says food prices are rising by the fastest rate for three years thanks to the weak pound. And it’s not only food: the average price of a bottle of wine is now £5.56 (which sounds pretty cheap to me, there must be a lot of real gut-rot on sale if that’s the average) which the Wine and Spirit Association says is the highest price ever and is due to – yes, you’ve guessed it – Brexit.

I think that what I’ve noticed is that real food really does cost more – but you can buy any amount of cr*p for nothing. I came back with two bags of shopping the other day: the boy was astounded when I told him that I’d spent £70. It was basically fruit, vegetables and some meat – no alcohol or ready meals. When you pay a tenner for chicken breasts and £2 for some strawberries, it all mounts up. I could have come laden down with bags had I bought cheapo ready meals, instant noodles and biscuits. Frozen orange-coated chicken bits cost a fraction of the price of fresh chicken and you can get ‘strawberry’ ice cream for much less than the fresh fruit but I’m middle class enough to feel a little queasy about buying food with worrying provenance or ingredients I’ve never heard of. But when I have to pay nearly a fiver for a big jar of Marmite (which lasts just a few weeks here) and £3 at least for a tub of butter, it does make the instant noodle/chicken dinosaur option appear more attractive: for the wallet, if not our health.

#Schooluniform: a hard lesson in economics?
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Tuesday, 18 December 2018