Getting Food in the time of Corona, Brexit and War

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merry
  
  
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Post by merry »

To be honest, my own ASDA delivery does seem to be the only ASDA van I ever see! Lots of Tesco and some Waitrose. Not so many Sainsbury's as there used to be for some reason, and far fewer Morrisons since they changed to sending your stuff from a central hub rather than the local store (which hugely restricted the number of slots so I stopped using them then.)

Saw this on another forum giving 'reasons' for the massive food price increases we are seeing at present - thought it might be of interest:
The bread that you are buying at the moment:

The fertiliser to grow it went from £200 a ton to £900 a ton.
The electric to dry the grain went up from around 22ppkwh to 60pkwh
The Labour for the farm staff has gone up 10%
The council tax, water etc for said staff in tied accommodation has gone up by an average of 8%
Chemicals to grow the crop are running at 12% inflation.

Some of the machinery inflation you could put down to Brexit to be fair.

The wheat you're eating now was purchased at £300 a ton rather than £200 it was in 21.

The eggs you buy - 80% of a poultry farmers cost is feed. That's gone up by a third. Labour, electric, medicines all gone up.

Mostly to do with the war I'd say.

Wheat is back down to £220 but inputs remain high so lots of farmers can't cash flow a crop. Lots of poultry producers can't afford to re stock sheds hence the shortages you see in the shops.
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Post by eccles »

I've read that food inflation is a problem across Europe, with the UK faring slightly better than most in the EU. I think the free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand should have been an opportunity to finally make some use of Brexit and start replacing EU produce with cheaper Antipodean equivalents. But the government has been in thrall to the NFU.
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Post by Furby »

Wouldn't it cost arms and legs for the ships half across the globe though.
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Post by eccles »

You'd think so wouldn't you but British farmers apparently don't, which is why the government has given Oz and NZ 15 years of graduated quota restrictions so our farmers can adapt.
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Post by OurCreature »

I understand that one of the arguments the NFU used against tariff-free imports of agricultural products from Australia and New Zealand is that their farmers have a production cost advantage in that they can use additives etc to get better yields that our farmers aren't allowed to do. Therefore I would have thought that the UK government could have matched whatever restrictions they have in Australia and New Zealand so that UK farmers are competing on a level playing field with them.

Folk might argue that UK regulations are in place to be kind to farm animals and that in some way it makes UK-produced food safer. I think the latter argument is rubbish; according to the World Bank Australians have the 5th highest life expectancy in the world while the New Zealanders rank 16th. The UK ranks 28th, so New Zealand and Australian farm products won't do us any harm.
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Post by merry »

My mother always used to buy New Zealand lamb, she told me it was cleaner and greener over there, painting a lovely picture of lambies frolicking on green pastures (like The Shire, which of course it was used as in the film!)
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Post by eccles »

The government ARE allowing tariff free imports of farm produce from Oz and NZ but they are allowing it via a gradually increasing quota system over 15 years. But the situation now is nothing like it was before the UK joined the EEC. I think the UK government at the time treated them shamefully, and perhaps that is the reason why the current deal, on paper at least, is so generous. Both countries were forced, rather abruptly, to find alternative markets in 1973. They found those new markets and more, now having many customers closer to home, and it is anticipated that supply to the UK will be limited as a result.
Geography could also work in both NZ/Oz and UK's favour. For instance, I believe that fresh lamb is potentially a seasonal product, reaching maturity about six months after lambing. With New Zealand and the UK's opposite seasons there could now be two way traffic six months apart. Who knows what other seasonal agricultural produce could also benefit in the same way?
I think that is where the NFU is falling down. It sees problems but not opportunities.
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Post by Furby »

Vegetables are now rationed by supermarkets. They are in short supply because of bad weather in spain and Africa and at home in UK we can't afford the greenhouse energy bills. Tomaroes are getting most press but probably as they are the most popular vegetable despite actually being a fruit. I do think if we are having rationing should just have proper rationing because three per shop means people who have time and transport to shop around can get as many as they want.
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Post by OurCreature »

I usually buy several different veggies in Morrisons, but yesterday they had no bags of broccoli and cauliflower florets. They have also stopped their offer of 2 big boxes of Kelloggs Allbran at £4.05 and put it up to £5 with no Morrisons substitute available yesterday so I bought a big box of Morrisons Fruit and Fibre instead.

There was a time when I could do my weekly biggish shop at Morrisons for around £25 but now I'm lucky if it is less than £45. And there have been no My Morrisons personalised savers for me so far this year; I saved £60 last year on stuff I would have bought anyway.
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Post by Furby »

I get a real cauliflower and chop it up myself so I can have the florets for a cauliflower meal like cauliflowee cheese and use the stalk and legs to put in my stews. When i put the order on they were out of stock and I can go back and add to order but recently it's adding things and having to take things off whereas if I can keep things on the order usually they turn up having been restocked before my order was picked.

I haven't got any vouchers at all since the new Morrisons. I don't shop there much now I have food delivered but do go in for bread and milk. I even een in on my birthday as they used to give me a voucher for flowers or chocolate but no vouchers came out the machine for me. So I don't like the new system probably will stil keep using the card if only to shut the cashier up asking me if I have a card.

Tesco have a 40 pound limit and so I get a delivery every 2 weeks. At first i was putting my order on and then thinking what can i stock up on to make 40 pounds but these days it's up to 40 pounds easily with just food for furby.
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Post by eccles »

I'm surprised that the £40 minimum spend hasn't increased. Everything else has.
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Post by merry »

I really excelled myself this week and managed to get two, nearly identical, orders from ASDA in the SAME TIME SLOT :eek

I don't know how I did this - I edit on phone and laptop and suspect it interpreted one of my edits as a new order. I didn't check this as Tesco don't allow two orders in the same day! I am surprised ASDA does!

It didn't really matter. The double order got quickly swallowed up by cupboards and eager skint kids
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Post by Furby »

I managed to get back in at crack of dawn and added a cauliflower. Sadly my tomatoes were gone and got crossed off the order so I added the only other available tomatoes on the vine. We will see what actually turns up next week.

Well done to merry getting two orders. Tesco doesnt allow the same day never mind the same time. Probably they will increase the minimum order because as OC said 40 is hardly enough for one person a week now and mine is only cheaper as I dont eat much meat. I also wonder if they will stop the letting you have replacements for same price because I have ordered cheaper things I am quite happy with so no point wasting money and then they substitute expensive brands which I am also happy with but must cost them a lot now stuff is out of stock so often.
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Post by OurCreature »

I ordered some rations for Them yesterday morning - a 10kg bag of Royal Kanin special kibble for Maine Coons (big cats get big kibble) plus a box with 3x40 pouches of wet food. Zooplus who supply me with this stuff put out an email a few weeks ago saying that Royal Kanin had increased their prices by an unreasonable amount so it would be in stock only occasionally. However, I got my usual discount of 3% plus another special offer of 5% (which expired yesterday evening) on everything plus another 10% off the Royal Kanin. So I was happy with that. The rations arrived this morning with Yodel which I thought was very quick. The other delivery firm they use is EVRI which in view of recent events publicised in the press I wouldn't touch with a bargepole.

So I'm happy. They are not happy because I dealt with the box they came in plus another delivery box that had been hanging around which meant that They couldn't play with the boxes. It is bin day tomorrow morning so the boxes (now outside) will go out for collection this evening.
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Post by merry »

Our food bills have gone up so massively. Raspberry Yoghurt from 75p a year ago to £1.70

But I saw this and found it interesting:
here's a direct comparison of salad cucumbers currently available online from similar (mid-market) supermarkets in the UK, France, Germany and Switzerland respectively:

UK - 75p (UK Minimum wage £10.42)
www.sainsburys.co.uk/gol-ui/product/sai ... mber-whole

Germany 1.89 euros (£1.66) - Minimum wage €12 (£10.58)
shop.rewe.de/p/salatgurke/483303

France - 2.39 euros (£2.11) - Minimum wage €11.27 (£9.94)
www.intermarche.com/produit/concombre/3250393160974

Switzerland 1.70 CHF (£1.50) - Minimum wage CHF24 (£21.00)
www.migros.ch/en/product/271580313200
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Post by OurCreature »

That is an interesting comparison Merry but only 1 vegetable of course. A better way is to look at everything in the round.

Something like 30 years ago I was travelling on a train called the Voralpen Express (quite a slow train - it was a very hilly route) which runs from St Gallen to Lucerne and back; I got on at Lucerne and I was getting out partway at a place called Rapperswil to change trains for Wetzikon and my friends.

It was a very hot day and I decided I needed a cold drink, so when the man with the SSG refreshments trolley arrived I asked for a coca cola because I knew it would be very cold. We started off in German, but he quickly changed to English and it turned out he was a Brit from good old 'Ampshire and had served 7 years in the Royal Green Jackets (our local regiment in the Light Infantry). Back in Civvy Street he had married a Swiss and eventually became a hotel manager in Bournemouth; it was not a very well paid job and his wife was expected to help him for nothing. It wasn't too long before she said she would return to Switzerland, get a job and rent a flat, and then he could come over and join her. So she found a place in a small town called Romanshorn by Lake Constance and then he joined her in Switzerland - and they had decided to stay. So he was using this job to improve his Schweizer Deutsch and then he would get a better job.

I remarked about high prices in Switzerland (eg the double the UK price cucumber if it had been current then) and he said no - they really were better off. He remarked that back in Bournemouth if he and his wife on their free day wanted to go to a nice restaurant they had to really think about it from the money angle. In Switzerland if they wanted to do that they just went out to the restaurant they fancied with no money worries about it at all.
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Post by eccles »

Time for the UK government to talk to Australia and New Zealand about seasonal vegetables and the recent trade deals.
In the meantime environment secretary Therese Coffey says "Let them eat turnips."
They are horrible.
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Post by Furby »

Turnips were Baldrick on Blackadder favourite food. Who else likes turnips I never met one person ever. . Do shops even sell them. The general advice to eat seasonal food is good advice though as we have gone too far in recent years with everything available anytime.

I noticed jelly is a pound now. It used to be 35p before lockdown and I noticed Tesco delivery was so much dearer when it was double at 70p. But a pound. Things can't have gone up that much can they. I suspect supermarkets are putting up things they can get away with like my jelly and merry yoghurt to even higher prices. Food like bread and milk has gone up but there's a press bad story every so often about that but no one who matters will care about jelly and yoghurt as they are luxury foods.

P.s. no turnips available at most shops but can get a swede for 80p. Sainsbury only shop selling the turnips so Ms coffey must shop there.
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Post by OurCreature »

Who else likes turnips I never met one person ever.
I have never known anybody who said they like turnips - they never said they didn't like them but they never said they liked them. One person who claimed they quite liked turnips was the late England football manager Graham Taylor. He said that at the height of the Sun campaign caricaturing him as a turnip; and went on to say that now his wife refused to serve them.
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Post by merry »

Pani likes turnip ?! :huh It's as well because for about a year, his Tesco delivery brought three turnips but constantly claimed they didn't have any turnips and refunded him the turnip money so not just three turnips but FREE turnips!

Jelly in ASDA is 95p which is about what I'd expect if it's £1 elsewhere as on a par with their being slightly cheaper across the board (apart from a few inexplicably dearer things.) 5p doesn't sound much but it will add up over the year so I am buying more from ASDA than Tesco at present, plus they have much greater slot availability. I can always get one for the next day, for example, whereas Tesco still have to be booked a week in advance for the best slots (ie morning).
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