Polly discovers self-solving problems

Less niche is the alarming 17% rise in food prices: Ian Wright, of the Food and Drink Federation, tells me Brexit costs and obstructions have sent commodity prices soaring, and those are now working their way on to the shelves. The unexpected £2bn fall in UK food and drink exports to the EU in just the first quarter of this year is, Wright tells me, “no teething problem, but very real and sustained. Smaller firms have stopped exporting”, overwhelmed by the new obstacles.

Imported food rises in price. Exports of food fall. Seems to work, doesn’t it?

26 thoughts on “Polly discovers self-solving problems”

  1. Mr Worstall, your argumemts are complex and unfathomable to the likes of Lady P.

    She is so restricted on who she can insult, it’s totally wrong of you and your commenters to spoil her enjoyment of venting her spleen on people regarded by their superiors as stupid, ignorant, racist peasants.

    And JuliaM, you may not have noticed, given the junk food people like you buy, but Mrs P was informed, by the woman who does her shopping, that the price of foi gras in Harrods is now simply shocking!

  2. Different markets though. Our food exports were high-margin luxury foods (at least that’s what I gathered from reading the newspapers, who may be skewed towards interviewing niche cheesemakers rather than cheap pie-makers). The things that are soaring in price are commodities, according to your snippet. One is not a substitute for the other.

  3. According to the Beacon of Truth the UK economy is founded entirely on the output of hairdressers and nailbars (mostly in Liverpool) plus what is euphemistically called the night time economy

    At least that what they said every night for the first 14 months of the pandemic

    As we stumble into the broken wastelands of the UK post lockdown I find that virtually nothing has changed

    Praise be, we can even purchase toilet rolls….

  4. BoM4

    Ah but now we’re going to be flooded with cheap Australian kangaroo meat, pricing British kangaroo producers out of the market.

  5. I’ve been thinking long and hard about my remarks about JuliaM, whose blog i assiduously follow. Do I insult her further by pointing out I was hanging the Joke sign out? (Which I think Julia would have instantly realised).

    I decided I should, because I couldn’t bear her to think ill of me.

  6. JuliaM,

    “Can’t say I’ve noticed any difference in price of anything except diesel…”

    Polly’s source seems to be another lefty newspaper. The ONS report for May says the following:-

    Rising prices for clothing, motor fuel, recreational goods (particularly games and recording media), and meals and drinks consumed out resulted in the largest upward contributions to the change in the CPIH 12-month inflation rate between April and May 2021.
    These were partially offset by a large downward contribution from food and non-alcoholic beverages, where prices fell this year but rose a year ago, particularly for bread and cereals.

    Where is this 17%? #TheGuardianWrongAboutEverythingAllTheTime

  7. True cost of cheap food is health and climate crises, says commission – The Guardian

    UK’s demand for cheap food could fuel Covid-19 spread, says WHO envoy – The Guardian

    Mark Bittman’s warning: the true costs of our cheap food and the American diet – The Guardian

    There’s a price to be paid for our cheap food – The Guardian

  8. Sorta the opposite of “Mom & apple pie” “Non binary birthing parent but nothing in the larder”
    Yep. Winning electoral strategy

  9. Oh look, Violet Elizabeth Newmania is back with yet another non-witty moniker. No doubt I’m adding grist to his mill and he’ll be calling me names again.

  10. Polly has just illuminated the fact that needless bureaucracy is getting in the way. Just what use, exactly, is all the guff that is getting in the way of trade?

  11. Having worked for a very large pie maker, 30 years ago, I can assure that export sales then were so small as to not even be a rounding error and I’d be surprised much has changed.
    I do recall we had issues with there even being an intrastat code at the time which I guess shows how little trade there was in them

  12. BniC Still the same… Mate of mine does festivals with english pies in clogland/krautia. Does a roaring trade with them as well…

    Thing is that even in the EU days it was much more practical to find a “local” bakery with the right kit, and a decent caterer/large-scale cook to make the fillings to have them made on order.
    The transport/storage costs from the UK alone paid for manufacture and then some for the amounts involved, and say, ordering a quick top-up of 100 pies to prevent event sellouts would be impossible.

    Brexit literally hasn’t changed anything regarding stuff like that. For quite a lot of similar things as well. Stuff has to be pretty special/complicated to rate importing/transporting over any appreciable distance, and “Made in UK” is not immune to that. Brexit or not.

  13. ‘now we’re going to be flooded with cheap Australian kangaroo meat’

    Ottokring. Have you thought of trying the crocodile?

  14. Crocodile meat has many similarities to goanna: “you can live on it, but it tastes like shit.”

  15. “Seems to work, doesn’t it?” Work in what sense? Diavid Ricardo’s comparative advantage says it’s a bad thing.

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