Since my post on the butter shortage in Norway has easily become the most frequently visited one on this blog (it’s amazing how many people google for “norway butter protectionism”), I feel a certain obligation to help my readers keep a jour with this important issue. So here’s an update with some of the lastest developments:
In the first post, I speculated that the protectionism-caused butter shortage “could ruin Norway’s Christmas”. Admittedly, it seems that Christmas did in fact go reasonably well in Norway this year, all things considered, so I guess that our worst fears did not materialise on that point. Still, polls show that about 20% of Norwegians say they have been affected by the shortage – so perhaps we could argue that Christmas was 20% ruined? Hard to say.
The problems aren’t going away, however. Although the dairy cooperative/monopoly TINE originally guesstimated that the problem would be solved by January, it seems that finding a solution could now take a good deal longer – perhaps as long as well into next summer.
So dear Norwegians: Please drop those ridiculous customs barriers and let us sell our butter and beef to you. We hate to see you suffer like this. :-(