Extreme rise in food prices: Who and what to blame for it?

People are paying more for fruit and vegetable this year, all because of the special levy on retailers which came into force on January 1.

Fruit and vegetable prices went up the most in January 2019.Fruit and vegetable prices went up the most in January 2019.(Source: SME)

"We've reduced the price of bread, butter, eggs, cheese, oil, sugar, coffee and chicken breasts for you," a voice says in the commercial by Lidl. In it, the firm compares itself indirectly to another business chain, Kaufland. Yet, the same person owns both companies.

Lidl decided to launch its latest advertisement on TV and online at the start of February. Paradoxically, it was being viewed a few days before the statitics disclosed a record high month-on-month rise in food prices since 2004.

It is nothing unusual if food prices, at the beginning of each year, rise slightly more than during other months. But in January 2019, the price of food products in stores grew the most in the last 15 years.

Read also:Q&A: How will the new levy on retailers affect people?

Compared to December 2018, food prices have grown by an average of three percent this year, figures from the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic suggest. In the European Union, it is the second biggest price rise after Cyprus.

Who is to be blamed?

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