Economist: Need To Raise Food Prices Further - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Economist: Need To Raise Food Prices Further

Published April 29, 2014

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photos by
Páll Hilmarsson

Environmental economist Daði Már Kristófersson has said there is a need to raise food prices further in order to deter food waste, reports RÚV

“A third of what is produced does not end up in people’s stomachs,” said Daði who believes that the biggest problem is the environmental impact that agriculture has on natural resources. For example 80% of all water that mankind uses goes towards farming.

Daði blames lack of information and difficulty storing food for food waste in developing nations. 

“But with us the issue is that we can throw out food. It’s just not expensive enough for it to matter to us on any real level,” Daði said. “We need to revolutionise the world’s tax system to focus more on a green tax. A tax that really puts a price on sustainability.” 

When asked if food prices should be raised Daði said that the price of food does not properly reflect cost of production and that consumers buy more than they need.

“[Supermarkets] use all kinds of tricks on consumers to get them to buy more than they need,” said social psychologist Ragna Benedikta Garðarsdóttir. Ragna also told told RÚV that consumers believe it better to buy in bulk – which is often cheaper – but that ultimately much of it goes off and ends up in the bin. 

The cost of food in Iceland has been a been a sore issue since the economic crash. Food prices have been rising steadily despite wage freezes and according to reports by the Icelandic Confederation of Labour (ASÍ) in 2013 food prices rose faster than inflation.

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