This is a debate post. The text is at the writer’s expense. If you want to participate in the debate, you can send your contribution to the Nation here.
Now that is not the starting point for the problem – cross-border trade, which probably exceeds 15 billion per. Years, including the Norwegians who have holiday homes in Sweden and have large parts of their food consumption there, are issues from Norwegian food producers.
I myself have had a cabin in Fredrikstad for 20 years and traveled across the border every other week to handle food and alcohol.
With a high Norwegian income, I could probably handle everything mine in Fredrikstad, but when you know that food and drink are 30 percent cheaper half an hour away, it is not difficult to take the drive on a Friday morning.
Now it is even the case that the Swedes trade cheaply in Denmark, and the Danes cross the border into Germany, so border trade is not unique to Norway.
The grocery chains in Norway sell for huge summers; 50 billion for Norgesgruppen, 100 billion for Reitan and the bottom line for these is unreasonably high, compared to large parts of Europe.
I live in Croatia and the region’s largest food group, Agronom, went bankrupt 4 years ago with a deficit of 50 billion euros. They owned one of the largest retail chains and the largest food producers, including the largest frozen food. Nevertheless, the margins were obviously not good enough. In a country that means net salary is 7500 euros per. This year, there is no room for high margins.
Employees in agriculture here earn less than 400 per month, which means that most work abroad, or better paid jobs in tourism along the coast. Grocery employees in the large agricultural areas of Slavonia earn 300 euros net per month, in the summer they get the same job in the same chain for 500-550 euros and free housing.
I have lived in Croatia on the coast, in one of the most attractive tourist areas for eight years and have a very good Norwegian retirement pension, from Nav and various private agreements. 15 percent flat tax and has a total cost of living, all inclusive, of 1200 euros per. Month. It includes housing, cars, food and restaurants, the price drivers in a Norwegian household. I lived in Norway the same cost was 3000 ++ euros, depending on many restaurant visits.
The cost differences are not due to Norwegian farmers, but too high a tax level, greedy food chains, unrealistically high protection measures on food. Norwegian income tax is not high, as Nordstad writes, I had the same tax rate of 135,000 kroner gross per month as I would have at 15,000 kroner gross per month here.
This means that Norwegians can afford expensive mats with high costs and high profit margins. Nevertheless, food costs are between 10-15 percent of household income, hers is 35 percent, which means that most people have access to topsoil and cover large parts of their food needs through own production, also bought.
It is possible that Norwegian farmers would not have been happy with a high proportion of own production of agricultural products among households, I do not know, but you probably know what 25-35 percent of food production in Norway would be household production outside farmers and food chains. A utopia in Norway, where a few know what it means to cultivate, here it is a must and a reality.
I grew up in the 60’s when we went to the country to pick potatoes, vegetables, berries, squeeze blackcurrant juice, pick fruit and take half a pig home to Oslo. We who lived in blocks in the slums had large food stalls in the basement and there were private freezer rooms in the housing association. Then we were able to save ourselves, that knowledge and opportunity is unfortunately gone. Now there are only sports stalls and garages in the blocks.
Good luck with agricultural policy in a government with the Center Party.