Food Prices are on the Rise

The Lempert Report
April 15, 2019

And both the shopper and the farmer are being hurt.

The Wall Street Journal, reports that the average prices of avocados, butter and olive oil have climbed as much as 60 percent since 2013. The price of salmon, for example, has ballooned more than 128 percent since 2012, while sugar prices have decreased more than 40 percent, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The reason? The Keto and paleo diets. And farmers were not prepared for the spike in sales. Nor were their fields.

The new “fat” health kick is also forcing avocado growers and fish farmers to think of new ways to meet the surging demand as environment constraints due to climate change become more pressing globally says WSJ.  Morgan Stanley found that North America absorbed two-thirds of the total cost of climate-related disasters over the last three years, which is estimated at $415 billion ($650 billion total) and warned that number could top $54 trillion by 2040.

Farmers have tough jobs and tough choices to make in order to keep supplies attuned to consumer trends – add in the unknown effects of climate change and their jobs, and our food supply, becomes that much more difficult to manage.