Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cheesed off yet?

I'm fairly certain it was not my blog posting of Sept. 26, 2012 that prompted the Canadian Dairy Commission, a legal and government approved cartel in Canada, to lower their mozzarella prices.

Back then I wrote about "Why American Pizza tastes better." My theory was it's because of the cheese, mozzarella prices in the United States are about half what they are in Canada, so American pizza makers are more generous with their cheese. More cheese, tastier and less pricey pizza, it's not rocket science.

About four-fifths of the price of Canadian pizza is because of the cheese. Who knew?

That blog post also pointed out that members of the Niagara Regional Police Department (no less) were caught smuggling cheese across the border. Yes, cheese, mozzarella cheese, not drugs!

Yesterday, Terence Corcoran in the National Post wrote about this dramatic price drop. He pointed out that the price of a kilo block of mozzarella cheese at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (not that far from Niagara) is about $4.20. In the Niagara area of Ontario (and the rest of the country) it's $8.50 a kilo!

After you've exclaimed WTF!, your next question is why, isn't it? Now you're asking the right question, unfortunately the answer requires you to wade through some government gobbledygook on Supply Management. Good luck with that.

The short answer is, you remember supply and demand, where demand usually determines the price of a scare commodity? Well, in this case dairy farmers and the government are in cahoots controlling the supply and setting a quota for the production of all milk products while at the same time, screwing over all consumers in the country. Milk products are probably one of the most common items in the kitchens of the country - so this is a big screw over.

Corcoran's article is worth the read, even funny in spots, he pulls no punches. The National Post saw fit to make this topic (by Chris Selley) their editorial today here.

Oh, by the way, the price drop of mozzarella cheese in Canada, all the way down to $7.80 a kilo, whoop-dee-do.

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