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May 1, 2022
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Business in Russian: Potatoes from farmers 20 rubles / kg, on the counter – 90 rubles

Business in Russian: Potatoes from farmers 20 rubles / kg, on the counter - 90 rubles

Photo: Alexander Ryumin / TASS

In Russia, despite the rise in prices for some categories of products, a positive trend continues to follow the right diet: the eating habits of Russians are gradually changing towards a healthy diet. How long?

As evidenced by the results of a study conducted by Rospotrebnadzor as part of the Healthy Eating project of the Demography national project, together with the Romir Research Center, “people remain interested in healthy eating as a personal opportunity to control their condition and the health of loved ones.”

All this sounds optimistic, especially against the backdrop of worrisome expectations on a planetary scale: the world is scared by the threat of hunger, and the Russians, it turns out, are more concerned about choosing healthy foods for their diet.

Globally, food prices may remain high until the end of 2024 due to disruptions in trade and production, as well as the conflict in Ukraine, the World Bank predicts. It is reported by RBC with reference to Bloomberg.

World Bank analysts expect agricultural prices to rise by almost 20% in 2022 and remain high in subsequent years.

“High prices will affect food production and quality in the long term, affecting food affordability, rural incomes and the livelihoods of the poor,” says World Bank Chief Economist, Development Outlook Group John Buffes.

However, domestic experts are confident that the Russian agricultural industry is fully prepared to feed the country’s population, although the industry has significant problems, without solving which it is difficult to talk about food security. “Hunger does not threaten us,” assured the president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of the capital Vladimir Platonov. “We have the technology, we have the ability to help everyone organize production.”

But filling the shelves with products is half the battle. According to the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Russia, the number of officially registered unemployed in Russia during January-March 2022 increased to 1.1 million people. Experts from the Center for Strategic Research predict an increase in unemployment at best to 6.4%, at worst to 7.8% at the end of 2022. At the same time, the Ministry of Economic Development expects a decline in Russia’s GDP by 8.8% in 2022. According to FINAM analysts, against this background, one should hardly expect an increase in wages from employers who will be forced to save. Accordingly, job seekers will have to adapt to new realities.

“Since 2014, we have been seeing a complete discord in trade, confusion in pricing,” says farmer, chairman of the public movement “Federal Village Council” Vasily Melnichenko:

– That is, there is no correspondence or binding to wholesale prices, no binding to the supplier, to the commodity producer. Today we, here, go to the store and see the price tag – 60 rubles for sugar. And suddenly here, but the next day, we can see the price of sugar for 114 rubles. And two days later we come, and again we are surprised – the price is already 80 rubles. That is, it is clear that the trading network, through the hands of its sellers, arbitrarily sets prices. He sees that some product is not very sold – reduces the price. And if there is a rush, when people, frightened by rumors of a shortage, or even the threat of hunger, begin to make large purchases, retail chains immediately raise prices. Now this is already known for sure.

But, in fact, prices are forced to rise. That inflation of 5.8% and 8% declared last year does not correspond to real life at all. Now we have been told that inflation will be 20%-22%. And then, the so-called “country duty officers” all swear among themselves, trying to name the final figure. In fact, we know that all these mechanics, equipment parts have grown in the range from 30% to 200%. We see that components are growing in price – incredibly large jumps – so inflation will be appropriate.

“SP”: – And what about the fact that even in our bread and milk we still have imported flavorings, sourdoughs and so on?

– In fact, everything related to imports did not grow so sharply in price. Even, let’s take bananas – we have not seen such a jump in prices as for domestic products. It’s all just talk, when one of the domestic producers makes excuses that, they say, import prevented them. We do not have a reasonable price – neither market nor planned. In fact, as we have seen since 2014, prices have increased several times. Even if we say that the ruble fell two times, two and a half, then prices – absolutely everything – rose 3-4 times.

We feel it. I buy fertilizers, fuels and lubricants, other materials for agricultural activities. This is also felt by people who are not engaged in agricultural labor, but go to grocery stores. If someone has kept checks for the segment of products that he buys most often, then he can be sure from these checks that there was definitely a 200% price increase.

“SP”: – The achieved price level at least somewhat corresponds to the goods?

– Doesn’t match at all. For example, no one here has ever bought potatoes for 20 rubles per kg in bulk. Today I went to the store – 90 rubles a kilogram of potatoes.

SP: Is there no alternative?

– There is, as expected. On the sidelines are sacks of potatoes at 45 rubles per kg. Well, take it, try it. Such potatoes are of poor quality, weak. And good potatoes, washed – there are practically no such ones for less than 100 rubles.

“SP”: – Is it a matter of poor seed stock or growing technologies?

– Yes, these are seeds, poor cultivation, failure to use the necessary fertilizers. So, at random they raised it. Yes, and at first they did not particularly worry about the seeds, they took them with accumulated diseases. And you can’t get away from this.

Well, now we have, in theory, will be much more. Because the seeds have become not only more expensive for us – it has become more difficult to buy them. Logistics, transport are heavily blocked, and we don’t know what will happen next. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare for food with conflicting indicators – with a deterioration in quality, an increase in prices, a narrowing of the assortment. Plus, most likely, there will be a lot of fakes.

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