War and adverse weather sets in to keep food prices high

Climate change and the war in Ukraine are set to keep food prices at far higher levels than before the Covid-19 pandemic, despite signs of moderation in global commodity markets, economists and agriculture experts have warned.

Wholesale food prices have stabilized over recent months, raising hopes that the surge in the retail cost of staples such as rice, bread and milk seen in the past two years will diminish in 2023.

The latest update of the food price index of internationally traded agricultural commodities, compiled by the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), published on Friday, posted its eighth consecutive monthly decline in November since peaking in March. The November index showed prices were just 0.3 per cent higher than a year earlier.

However, the stabilization in international markets is yet to translate into lower inflation for households around the world.

Line chart of Annual % change showing Moderation in food prices on global markets are yet to feed through into lower consumer inflation

Even if this does happen over time, costs are likely to remain well above pre-pandemic levels as the war and weather events limit producers’ ability to take advantage of higher prices by increasing supply.

“Normally the cure for high prices is high prices,” said Carlos Mera, senior analyst at Rabobank. “We do see a weakness in demand, but production has not been very elastic.”

After several years of bumper crops thanks to favorable weather conditions, grain prices firmed up during the pandemic because of hoarding by consumers, companies and governments. Even before Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine, which caused prices to spike because of the importance of both countries

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Kansas Governor Laura Kelly wants a food tax axed next legislative session

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has called on the legislature to completely eliminate the state sales tax on groceries, diapers, and feminine hygiene products when they return for the 2023 session.

Last year, the legislature passed a bill that would drop the tax to 4% and 2% the following year. It would be completely gone in 2025. The plan will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023. Currently, the state has the second-highest sales tax on groceries, sitting at 6.5%.

“We have ‘Axed the Food Tax’ and are putting money back in Kansans’ pockets,” Kelly said in a statement. “Kansans will see the savings very soon, but we can do more. When the Kansas Legislature comes back in January, I will push again for the complete and immediate elimination of the state’s sales tax on groceries.”

The Kansas Department of Revenue (KDOR) published its notice to initiate those changes.

The informational notice can be found here, and the sales tax publication can be found here. Retailers with questions about implementation can contact the Kansas Department of Revenue’s Tax Assistance Center at 785-368-8222.

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East Bay restaurant owned by Marshawn Lynch provides free food, toys

EMERYVILLE, Calif. (KRON) — The season of giving runs year-round for one East Bay restaurant. It happens to be owned by former NFL running back and Oakland’s own — Marshawn Lynch.

His aunt runs the place. Rob Ben’s Restaurant & Lounge gives back to the community through food and soul.

Hours before opening for business, employees are hard at work in the kitchen.

Sisters Kecia Johnson and Shawny Capla put their souls into what they will eventually serve throughout the day at Rob Ben’s Restaurant & Lounge in Emeryville.

“We treat everyone that comes in here like they’re walking in my front door,” Johnson said. “You know, this is Sunday dinner at Rob Ben’s all the time.”

The soul food establishment off San Pablo Avenue along the Oakland border is named after Lynch’s childhood friend who was gunned down in Oakland a year before lynch bought the business in 2018.

“He’s huge in the community. He has a lot of support. They definitely come and celebrate him,” Johnson said of Lynch.

Lynch is Johnson and Capla’s nephew. He gifted the place to his aunts.

Johnson is the general manager and head chef. Capla manages the front of the house and the bar.

Jerseys of family members hang on the walls. The spirit of the business’ mission is reflected in how it operates.

The sisters routinely hand out free meals at the end of shifts, sharing leftovers with people on

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