Trade Unfairness & Food Price Hikes
The Obama Administration is getting ready for more trade talks next week with European trading partners. One of the issues is a difference of standards on regulations in Europe that have unfairly disadvantaged U.S. agriculture produce like apples and pears. Senators Mike Crapo and Maria Cantwell have sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Michael Froman calling for talks on the TTIP to work to improve the terms of access for U.S. apple and pear exports to Europe.
As much as my wife and I love to cook with good, fresh foods at home we also love to eat out in some of the more unique restaurants. But like everything USDA economist Ricky Volpe says those prices are going up.
VOLPE: We are looking at food at home prices to increase 1 to 2% 2013 over 2012 on average. And for food away from home prices - that's restaurants and food service prices to go up about 2-3%. So we are looking at a year where we see somewhat stronger price inflation for food away from. But almost regardless of what's happening in a macro economy the food away from home CPI really tends to kind of trudge along at 2.5 - 3% per year, every year.
Now with today's Food Forethought, here's Lacy Gray.
Washington voters have been all over the news this week as they vote on whether to pass GMO labeling Initiative 522. As of yesterday, most press coverage had Initiative 522 failing, but as Washington is a mail-in ballot state the official count for the GMO labeling measure might not be in until the end of the week. It has been a close run for the initiative. In September 66 percent of Washington voters backed the measure, but as October drew to a close polls showed that I-522 was leading by just 4 percent voter approval. A similar labeling measure in California was defeated by voters last year. When asked about the GMO labeling issue at numerous news conferences around the country Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack has pointed out that the USDA already has labels for organic and natural food products, and that historically the USDA's labeling philosophy has been about nutrition and food safety, and that as far as he knows there is no risk connected with GMOs. Vilsack has also said that, as far as organic and conventional producers, the USDA has worked hard to create a discussion of co-existence that recognizes the important role that all production processes play in agriculture.
Thanks Lacy. That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.