Articles

EU Food Aid

In Uncategorized on October 5, 2011 by grahamharrowell

Two similar but somehow conflicting stories have come up on my radar this week.
In the UK charities are trying to persuade the big food chains to send less food to be destroyed (Yes! Destroyed!) and to make it available to charities to distribute to the needy.
In France the charities are trying to persuade the EU to renew the food aid it supplies to the country. (Yes! The EU send food aid to France!) The hope is that it will continue to be made available to charities to distribute to the needy.
The origins of the EU food aid go back to the liquidation of the butter mountains and wine lakes which grew out of intervention. These have apparently disappeared and the EU doesn’t have surpluses to dole out. Interestingly, the French press cites the UK government as one of those opposed to the continuation of food aid.
It’s clear that even if the EU doesn’t have surpluses, big business does. If market forces apply, even allowing for demand elasticity, the way to help everyone (rich who want tax cuts, poor who have no money and who would benefit most) is to lower the price of food, rather than to artificially buoy up the price in the supermarket by limiting supply.

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