Not enough for Christmas?
Tariffs cut on imported pork to ensure Norway will have enough ribbe for Christmas
Anticipating a shortage of ribbe from Norwegian pigs, the Norwegian Agricultural Authority (Statens landruksforvaltning – SLF) lowered tariffs on imported pork to ensure that Norwegians will have enough of the traditional dinner item for Christmas celebrations.
“The retail sales of pork are a big item, and we are not able to supply enough Norwegian pigs to meet demand for ribs,” said Harald Moksnes Weie, head of the Norwegian Agricultural Authority.
The tariff for ribs is reduced to NOK 38 per kilogram until Dec. 19, compared to the usual tariff of NOK 64.96 per kilogram, SLF writes on its website.
Ribbe, the loin rib of pork, is a culinary mainstay on the Christmas Eve table in many Norwegian homes. After the highly publicized butter shortage of Christmas 2011, the SLF response is proactive in responding to fluctuations in supply and demand.
“The primary goal for us is to ensure that there is enough product in the market,” says Weie.
Nortura, the Norwegian company that produces the brand Gilde, is typically responsible for all other meat producers who have access to the meat market demand, but not when tariffs are lowered.
“There is such a demand of pork that we must have the imported pork. We butcher what we manage before Christmas… but only 13 percent of the pig we can use. We think it is good that the tariff is reduced,” said Eli Strand, head of Nortura, told VG Nett.
Tariff reductions, however, will not lead to lower prices for pork, she believes.
“Ribbe is very cheap in the first place. If you are looking at in real terms, ribbe costs the same now as it did in the 1980s… Anyone who wants ribs can get them,” said Strand.
This article originally appeared in the Dec. 7, 2012 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.