Several years back, Norway had a severe butter crisis, happening at the worst possible time: Christmas. During the “Butter Panic of 2011,” stores sold out within minutes of delivery. The crisis was attributed to excess rains during that summer, leading to lower production.
Instead of smuggling the usual cigarettes and grain alcohol, the gypsies and bandits switched to trafficking butter from Sweden, gouging the desperate Norwegians in dire need of “Jul” cookies and treats. Eventually, Holland, France, and Sweden came to the rescue, saving Christmas.
[Interesting to note: unlike in the USA when there was a shortage of “Cabbage Patch Kids” and “Tickle me Elmo’s,” people were not beating the crap out of each other for the last ones. The Norwegians just grinned and beared it.]
Now, six years later, The European Union (EU) nations face the same situation. Butter prices virtually doubled in short order: up 97% across the region. Although Norway wants to return the favor, there are no takers as of now. Apparently, even with the sharp rise in prices, Norwegian milk remains much more expensive than in European due to more natural farming methods, logistics, and labor costs.
I hope that Europeans realize that Norwegian agriculture is worth the extra money.