Where’s the Beef?

“But People Cannot, Excuse My Expression, Chow Down Normally”
The Russian government concludes beef too expensive for Russians
Irina Shcherbak
Znak
June 9, 2016

The Russian government argues that beef has become too expensive for Russians. These are the findings of an analytical report on the outcome of the produce embargo in 2015.

“Due to a shift in demand for cheaper produce, beef will taken on the characteristics of an expensive niche product, so massive support of this segment is inexpedient,” says the report.

The report likewise notes that the anti-sanctions have had no negative consequences. On the whole, however, “downward trends in the quality of consumption have been observed, including in response to the population’s falling real incomes.” This, the authors of the report argue, takes the shape of “switching to goods in a lower price segment.”

“The situation in the economy does not allow for a quick recovery of demand in produce markets, which will be accompanied both by a further shift in demand towards the cheaper segment in each segment [sic] and by a shift in demand from fish to meat, as well as the revival of significant subsistence production for personal consumption in the fruit and vegetable sectors,” says the report.

“We got up off our knees and have been threatening the west. We are in a confrontation with America, you see. We are paying for the restoration of Palmyra. 30% of the budget goes to defense spending. But people cannot, excuse my expression, chow down normally. In the next report, the government will probably recommend moving beef to the desserts and sweets section,” commented opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

Farewell, Beef Stroganoff?
Farewell, Beef Stroganoff? Image courtesy of Viator Things to Do: Russia

According to a recent study by the Analytical Rating Agency, consumers currently are showing a marked preference for bread, potatoes, and dairy products over vegetables, fruits, fish, seafood, and alcohol.

“In the future, a further shift in consumer preferences towards cereals, flour, oil, seasonal vegetables, and sugar is possible,” the analysts predicted.

The Russian food embargo was introduced in August 2014 in response to sanctions against Russia [sic] by western countries. A ban on the import of beef, pork, fruits and vegetables, poultry, fish, cheese, milk, and most dairy products from the US, the EU, Canada, Australia, and Norway was imposed. Subsequently, Russia has combated the re-export of banned European produce, introducing restrictions on imports from Belarus and Serbia. In addition, on May 1, 2015, the import of peanuts and, on May 26, 2015, live poultry from the US was banned.  On June 4, 2015, imports of canned fish from Latvia and Estonia were banned.

On June 24, 2015, Vladimir Putin signed a decree extending the food embargo until August 5, 2016.

Translated by the Russian Reader. Thanks to Valentin Urusov for the heads-up

Hunger Games 2

sg-petrozavodsky-kfc

George Losev
August 10, 2015
Facebook

The EU and US have imposed sanctions against a number of Putin’s friends and several major Russian companies. The sanctions basically boil down to the fact that these people and companies cannot borrow money from foreigners.

In response, the Russian authorities have announced that these sanctions are against the whole of Russia. The Russian authorities have been seeking to make it possible for Putin’s friends and major Russian companies to borrow from foreigners once again.

In addition, the Russian authorities have imposed retaliatory sanctions. They have banned the import of produce from several countries. Not from specific individuals and companies, but from whole countries. Of course, even just six months before the sanctions were introduced, no one knew anything about them and was not preparing for anything of the sort. This has led to yet another hike in food prices and has primarily hurt the working class.

And yet the official propaganda of the Russian Federation declares that this produce is dangerous (!), and that all countries destroy contraband (!!), and the murderer and mafioso [Russian agriculture minister Alexander] Tkachev has been doing the rounds on TV, explaining that the problem should be solved once and for all.

That is the picture. Total capitalist whack jobs who have privatized the state and have been using it for their own personal interests are plundering the working class and the poor and pushing the country towards war with the whole world.

And yet half the folks on my Facebook feed, including leftists, have started moaning, Oh, enough of this destroying produce already, oh, shame on them, shame.

But what do you want to see? What issues are more important?

sg-petrozavodsky-bridge“Food to the workers, death to the bourgeoisie!”

Photos courtesy of Comrade SG, who took them in the Russian city of Petrozavodsk recently.