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Norway’s food now priciest in Europe

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Christian Fernsby |
Norwegian seafood
Europe   In Norway politicians have for years granted farmers high levels of subsidy

It probably comes as no surprise to Norwegian consumers, but a new survey confirms that food price levels in Norway are on average 63 percent higher than they are in 28 European countries.

Topics: Norway food

Norway tops price statistics compiled by the EU’s statistics service Eurostat.

Norway’s own statistics bureau SSB (Statistics Norway) also pointed out that food price levels in Norway are much higher than in the other Scandinavian and Nordic countries: 40 percent higher than in Sweden and 25 percent higher than in Denmark.

They’re also 36 percent higher than in Finland and 10 percent higher than in Iceland.

SSB stressed that “price levels” within the various groups of foods and alcohol-free beverages are influenced by more than just price alone.

Factors including changes in consumption habits, consumer preferences and political priorities play a role.

In Norway, for example, politicians have for years granted farmers high levels of subsidy and protection from foreign competition, not least by limiting imports and regulating the meat and dairy markets to support ongoing production around the country and create work in outlying areas.

The Eurostat study showed that Norwegian price levels for milk, cheese and eggs, for example were fully 74 percent higher than the European average.

Dairy products in particular are strictly regulated and relatively expensive in Norway.

They may become even more expensive as farmers face a need to scale down production following a loss of export subsidy for milk used to make Jarlsberg Cheese, a rise in imported cheese and declining consumption of milk itself.

Price levels for bread and grain products, meanwhile, were 67 percent higher than the European average and 58 percent higher for fruit and vegetables.

Meat price levels were 55 percent than the European average while fish and other seafood, of which Norway has a bounty, logged the lowest difference at just 9 percent over the European average.

SSB noted that compares to price levels for seafood in Greece, Italy and Ireland, countries that in general are less expensive to live in than Norway.

Norwegian prices for other food products and beverages, however, soared over those in other other European countries.

They were nearly double the European average for sauces, spices and processed baby food, for example, are 81 percent higher for non-alcoholic drinks.


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