Butter supplies remain uncertain

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Norway’s embattled dairy monopoly Tine is still struggling to supply enough butter to meet demand, and has asked for more reductions in the country’s protectionist import tariffs to allow more foreign butter into the market.

The butter (“smør”) in the green and gold package is imported from France, while the box below is what Tine makes in Norway. Both sell for the same highly regulated price. PHOTO: newsinenglish.no

Tine felt a need to request tariff reductions until January 1, making the third time this autumn alone that the dairy industry’s so-called “market regulator” effectively admitted that Norwegian farmers weren’t producing enough of the milk needed to make butter. Tine initially had asked for tariff reductions until September 1 and then to December 1 to allow more imports

“We know from experience that butter sales increase in the weeks leading up to Christmas,” Rakel Korsvold of Tine told newspaper Aftenposten last week.

Tine allied itself with a French dairy last spring, and ordered 200 tons of butter to be made in accordance with its Norwegian recipe. Tine also took an option for another 300 tons. The goal is to avoid another embarrassing butter shortage like the one that sparked international media attention last year and pointed up the disadvantages for consumers of Norway’s highly regulated and high-priced products.

newsinenglish.no staff