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Rising food prices

15 July 2008

Rising food prices

Rising food prices are a challenge for many struggling families and New Zealand needs to care about them, Agriculture Minister and Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton said today.

“Higher food prices, caused by high global prices, are a two-way street for New Zealand.

“Higher prices increase our overall income as a country. They also put a squeeze on many household budgets. It is vital to ensure that all families share in the increased revenue receives when world prices for foods and food commodities rise.

“That is why equality is crucial. In a more caring New Zealand, the rising tide lifts all boats.”

Jim Anderton said he was pleased to agree with the Green Party’s concern over the impact of higher food prices, but he said the solutions the Greens propose won’t work.

“The Greens have called for Fonterra to subsidise the cost of milk in New Zealand. It is already forced by regulation to supply raw milk to New Zealanders at well below the export price for milk.”

He said the other solution the Greens had proposed was to grow rice and bananas in New Zealand.

“I think that would be likely to increase, rather than reduce, the price of those products, especially in the winter, and it would also increase the price of other products, such as dairy and meat, that would be displaced for paddy fields and plantation land.”

ENDS

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