Butter Side Up

Our latest volunteer arrived last night.

Kristi is from Estonia and volunteered earlier this year through the Workaway organisation.

About all I know of Estonia is that the capital Tallinn is popular with groups of British stag-night revellers, and the tragic ‘Estonia’ ferry catastrophe, Europe’s worst maritime disaster since World War II. 852 people are known to have died when Estonia sank in the early hours of September 28, 1994, but more than 1,000 may have perished, if, as reported, some 150 Iraqi Kurds were being smuggled to Sweden in one of the trucks on its car deck.

I had imagined that, like it’s near neighbours Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, it would be a cheap holiday destination.
Apparently not though – Kristi says consumer goods are cheaper in the UK than in her home country!
I asked if people crossed the borders to fill up on cheaper goods, like we Brits did in the days of the Duty-Free ‘booze cruises’ to France and Belgium, but she didn’t think this happened.

The conversation then got onto the subject of the butter shortage in Norway, partly caused by Swedish celebrity chef Leila Lindholm.

The Telegraph reported today:

The shortfall, expected to last into January, amounts to between 500 and 1,000 tonnes and online sellers are cashing in on the crisis by offering 500-gram packs for up to €350 (£294).

“Sales all of a sudden just soared, 20 per cent in October then 30 per cent in November,” said Lars Galtung, the head of communications at TINE, Norway’s biggest farmer-owned co-operative.

Last Friday, customs officers stopped a Russian at the Norwegian-Swedish border and seized 90kg of butter stashed in his car.

Food safety authorities have warned people not to buy butter from strangers, Norway’s TV2 reported.



Hmmm….Who remembers ‘butter mountains’ being in the news?

‘EEC summit meeting — “From up here on the butter mountain, we have a splendid view of the sugar mountain and the massif of the cereals as well as, in the far distance, Great Britain.”’ In December 1969, the German cartoonist Köhler illustrates the problem of surplus production faced by the key players in the common agricultural policy (CAP).


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