Norway, like Sweden and Finland, has been hit by a major butter shortage in recent months. The Nordic trio have seen less raw milk available annually amid soaring demand for high-fat dairy products such as creams, butters and milk.
The scarcity is exacerbated by consumer preferences for natural, locally produced products, an annual decrease in total milk production, fewer dairy farmers, and seasonal variations related to milk production.
But while the Danes are happy to help out the Swedes and the Finns, Norwegian shoppers look set to be left in the lurch with Christmas looming.
Oslo has slashed import tariffs on butter for the month of December in an attempt to attract foreign producers, but leading Danish dairies remain unimpressed.
“We’ve been bashing our head against an excise wall in Norway for more than ten years, so we don’t have enough faith in a little hole in the wall to start sending butter via that route,” said Mogens Poulsen from dairy Thise Andelsmejeri to news website foodculture.dk.
Danish news reports said the country’s other main dairy producers were similarly disinclined to make a beeline for the Norwegian market.
“We can’t start building something up only to dismantle it again three weeks from now,” said Arla spokesperson Theis Brøgger to foodculture.dk.
Arla offered 50 tons of industrial butter to Norway’s biggest dairy, Brøgger added, but it was unhappy with the quality and turned the offer down.