ELEPHANT IN THE KITCHEN
Despite concern about rising petrol prices ( Politics, October 20), the elephant isn’t in the garage, but in the kitchen. We have choices about car use, such as opting for efficient models or catching the bus.
It’s harder to save on skyrocketing grocery prices, despite suppliers’ efforts to disguise that fact by, for example, repackaging items in smaller quantities. Inflation has been low, so why do grocery prices keep rising?
In central Europe, from where I’ve returned after a lengthy stay, dairy products sell for a fraction of New Zealand prices. Fresh produce, similarly, is inexpensive. A basket of groceries was noticeably cheaper than here. The benefits of competiton from such supermarket chains as Lidl, Aldi and Edeka come in the form of moderate – and stable – grocery prices.
What we do seem to have here is far more product choice, but at a cost – of ordering, transporting, storing, stocking and handling. Where we need choice is of suppliers, instead of the cosy oligopoly of effectively only two major supermarket groups.
Barbara Callaghan (Kohimarama, Auckland)