The good news on the food price front is that this year food prices, despite the drought will only increase 2.5 to 3.5%, a pretty normal increase. USDA’s Food Price Analyst Ricky Volpe:
“The bad news is that we are now on track for a year of above average food price inflation in 2013.”
Volpe outlines the areas of projected price increase:
“We are looking at all food to increase 3-4%, food at home (grocery) 3-4%, and restaurant prices 2.5-3.5%.”
The reason? Primarily the drought in the central part of the country increasing input costs for producers.
Boehner May Consider Farm Bill Extension Soon
House Speaker John Boehner may bring up an extension of current farm programs – including disaster aid funds – as early as next week. If not next week – House sources say it may be in September. While an extension would avoid an election year battle surrounding food stamps – it would complicate reform plans.
Major Foodservice Distributor Tells HSUS It Wants Suppliers to Move From Gestation-Sow Stalls
North America’s largest foodservice distributor is the latest to announce it wants its pork suppliers to stop using gestation-sow stalls. Sysco officials sent a statement to the Humane Society of the United States that said the company takes its role as a responsible corporate citizen in the food supply chain seriously. The statement goes on to say that while there are many ways to house sows – several customers and suppliers have expressed their desire to eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains. Sysco is therefore committed to working with its suppliers to create a gestation crate-free supply system – and will work with pork suppliers to develop a timeline to achieve that goal. HSUS President and CEO Wayne Pacelle says the decision conveys an emphatic no confidence vote in the pork industry’s production practices.
Farmers’ Markets Reaching More Groups
USDA Food and Nutrition Services Administrator Audrey Rowe says that traditional farmers’ markets are expanding their offerings:
“Urban gardens are booming and becoming part of farmers markets. Products like callaloo, a Jamaican green are making their way into market via individual growers. The market for these very specific foods looks to be large. Farmers markets are not only selling traditional foods but more ethnic foods that are being made available. The image of the traditional farmers market is being challenged and they are becoming much more variable.”