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Butter Shortage Hits Norway At The Worst Time Of The Year
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Butter Shortage Hits Norway at the Worst Time Of the Year

Norwegians love real butter and cream and thanks to their latest diet fad, are consuming those items in huge numbers. Unfortunately that means that the nation is about to face the Christmas cooking and baking rush with a serious butter shortage. But, increased consumption is not the only reason for the dwindling supplies of real butter in Norwegian shops and stores. That shortage has become so serious that an online auction site reportedly sold off a piece of butter at over four times its normal selling price. That butter, weighing in at 250 grams was sold to the winner bidder for the equivalent of $13.

Butter sales jumped dramatically after the diet plan became more popular, straining the already limited butter supplies. Butter sales in October were 20% higher than usual and had grown by 30% in November.

In addition to the low carb diet plan that has been very popular in the Nordic nation, foul weather during the summer months has impacted milk output. The summer seen more rain than usual leading to less then top quality animal feed, that compromised animal feed kept local cows from producing the same amount of milk that they usually do. According to Lars Graltung, the head of communications at TINE, the biggest farmer's cooperative in Norway, the dairy farms had a 25 million liter short fall of expected milk production.

Just across a narrow seaway, lies Denmark, the top dairy producer. But, Norway cannot simply import the milk, butter and other dairy products that they are short on because of the high import duties imposed by the nation. It is that protectionist economy that is hurting Norway overall, not just now with the so called butter crisis but during other trading ventures. Norway is the only Nordic nation that is not part of the European Union. A Norwegian dairy company is planning to import as much as 300 tons of butter from Belgium but took TINE to task for failing to take better control of production especially in light of the known shortage from the summer months. A representative of that company said that the farmer's co-op could have taken steps to address what was going to be a serious problem before it actually happened.

Meanwhile, neighboring Denmark may not be able to help in a realistic way but did not waste the opportunity to poke fun at Norway when a popular morning show there sent several packets of butter to "help out". People reportedly waited for hours in long lines to get their hands on even a few of those packets of butter.


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