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FARMING

Farmers’ egg blockade cracks apart

Farmers in Norway ended their blockade of egg packing plants, arguing that the fear of Norwegians undergoing their May 17 celebrations without the tradition scrambled egg had itself been enough to get their point across.

Farmers' egg blockade cracks apart
Eggs on a production line. Photo: Nortura
The head of Norway's Farmers' Union Nils  Bjørke told VG that the plan had always been to stop the the blockade before May 17, a that they farmers were not calling off the blockade because of popular opposition. 
 
"The plan was to stop at noon today," he said. "We have had a lot of support from people. They want to give Norwegian food a future. Farmers who have been with the actions have received supportive text messages." 
 
According to Norway's Dagbladet on Thursday, the Farmers' Union was pushing its members to bulk buy eggs in shops and blockade the entrances to egg packing facilities in an determined effort to create a national egg crisis.
 
But Bjørke on Friday told VG that the publicity had already been enough to get farmers' point across. 

 
 

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FARMING

Norwegian firm warns high gas prices could impact food production

Soaring prices for natural gas, a key feedstock for producing chemical fertilisers, will weigh on food production and security, a major Norwegian manufacturer warned Wednesday.

Rising gas prices could make food more expensive, Norwegian firm Yara has said. Pictured is the fruit isle on supermarket shelves.
Rising gas prices could make food more expensive, Norwegian firm Yara has said. Pictured is the fruit isle on supermarket shelves.Photo by gemma on Unsplash

Norway-based Yara said that a near fifteenfold rise in European natural gas prices had forced it to reduce its production of ammonia, a key fertiliser component.

“European nitrogen production is essential to global food security, and we are therefore concerned about the impact current European natural gas prices will have, especially for the world’s poorest regions,” chief executive Svein Tore Holsether said in a statement.

As prices for fertilisers rise in the wake of those for natural gas, farmers will be tempted and perhaps forced to cut back on their use. As a consequence, production of food crops could drop.

Holsether pledged Yara will do its utmost to supply farmers and support global food production.

However, he said, “the current situation clearly demonstrates the need for more resilient food supply chains” and called on both government and industry to work together to secure the global food supply.

Rising prices helped Yara’s results overall in the third quarter, with headline sales rising by 46 percent to nearly $4.5 billion.

Operating earnings also improved, but adverse currency effects and writing down the value of a phosphate mining project pushed the firm into a net loss of $143 million.

It earned a net profit of $340 million in the third quarter. Yara shares were up 1.5 percent in afternoon trading, while the main OBX  index was up 1.4 percent.

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