Sunday, July 06, 2008

Basic Economics and Gordon Brown

Independent: "The Government is to launch a campaign to stamp out Britain's waste food mountains as part of a global effort to curb spiraling food prices.

Supermarkets will be urged to drop "three for two" deals on food that encourage shoppers into bulk-buying more than they need, often leading to the surpluses being thrown away. The scandal of the vast mountains of food that are thrown away in Britain while other parts of the world starve is revealed in a Cabinet Office report today. It calls for a reduction in food waste: up to 40 per cent of groceries can be lost before they are consumed due to poor processing, storage and transport."

I think this is really simple, and this whole issue will do nothing but damage the slightly more expensive situation we find our world in.

A retailer puts food on sale to hasten it's sale. The lower cost for an item is a powerful incentive for every customer passing through the doors, often times weather they need it at the time or not. So that item gets moved off the shelf quicker.

Retailers, especially food stores, put stuff on sale to compensate for a lack of demand, excess supply, or to hit a narrow window of sales in time.
Fruits and veggies? If they're not going fast enough, they get put on sale.

So discouraging retailers from putting items on sale? Ridiculous, and only results in less food put into the hands of consumers. Thus, it rots at the store where it has zero chance of being put to use.
The next logical step is for retailers to lessen the supply due to decreased demand. So fewer bulk purchases from the farmers. Now the food can sit on pallets and rot at the speculators warehouse.
Next logical step is for the speculators to realize decreased demand. So fewer speculative purchases the next season.
Then the farmers are stuck with the burden of excess food, and can leave the food to rot in the field as fertilizer for the next season, where due to decreased demand, they grow less.

The end result? Less food grown, less to go around.

Brilliant government policy.


Celestial Fundie said...

Surely this is the same Gordon Brown who has a PhD in economics?

I hate being told what to do by politicians.

And I think those people who go on about petty issues like food waste have a very confused approach to global problems.

God Bless


Celestial Fundie said...

Nice to see our prime minister coming in for some criticism here.

Gino said...

those two melons rotting in the city dump will not help those ethiopians one bit, whether they were eaten or tossed,grown or not.

Solameanie said...

Oh, for the days of Maggie Thatcher.

Palm boy said...

His PhD is in economics? I looked him up briefly when he came into command, but I don't remember him being an economic beacon.
I agree, they usually don't know what they're talking about.

My days of holding fire from Tony are over now. :D

Gino, well said.

Joel, I wasn't around for those, but they seemed pretty cool.