Screw Farmers – Just Give Us Cheap Bread

The Greens just don’t care about understanding international markets.

National Radio had an item on the rising price of bread this morning. Much of the reason given was droughts in Australia and overseas use of crop land for biofuels. Now, bread should be something that we are able to supply relatively easily. After all it’s mostly made from things we should be able to grow here, wheat and milk. So it seems slightly absurd that its price should be driven by hot dry weather conditions in Australia. But that’s the great thing about unrestrained international markets I guess.
Honestly, the sheer ignorance of these people sometimes makes me want to tear my hair out. Everyone knows that this country does not grow enough wheet for it’s own needs, so we have to import it. That alone would mean we are exposed to the international price.

But if the price is higher overseas, why should domestic supliers get a lower price? No one is volunteering to pay more for bread when the wheat price is low, neither should they.

However a later news item, also on Radio New Zealand, has a farmer challenging the assumption that flour shortages were driving prices up:

[A] mid-Canterbury grain farmer, Edward Oakley, says the flour component of a loaf of bread is a very small part of the overall cost.

And he says millers are still using wheat contracted last year, when world prices were lower.

So, if it’s not overseas wheat prices that are currently driving bread prices and it is not yet the cost of raw products coming off New Zealand farms, then something must be happening to the price of bread as it passes through either the bakeries or our supermarket duopoly.

Again, ignorance. Like the petrol industry (which the greens have complained about before) the baking industry most likely recovers costs based on what the loaf would cost today.

People can still get cheap bread. It’s just that they might have to bake it themselves or shop around. But the left never miss a non-chance to bash big business, even if that business has fallen on hard times.

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