The Ukrainian news website Vesti reported that since the Ukrainian economic crisis in Ukraine shows no sign of improvement, the past few weeks saw more and more ordinary people buy expired food products. On 1 October, the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers temporarily abolished state regulation of prices for food products, which the authorities claim is an experiment allegedly aimed at helping them find out more about the effectiveness and feasibility of price controls. The government decided to scrap the maximum trade mark-up, which ranged between 10 and 15 percent, for goods deemed socially important. The measure will remain in force until 31 December. It means that, until the end of the year, entrepreneurs are free to hike the prices of staple goods including bread, milk, butter, eggs, sugar, pasta, and many other products. the Russian news website Lenta.ru reported that Ukrainians rushed to buy expired food, including milk, sausage, cheese, and croissants, to save money, enticed by smooth operators on the internet. Lenta.ru quoted an unnamed seller from Kremenchug as saying:
I’m selling expired sausages, frankfurters, and wieners. Pay attention to the fact that the products aren’t spoiled.
Prices for such food are cheaper than they are for fresh products, with businessmen preferring to sell expired food at urban markets and even spontaneously formed selling points. Lenta.ru also quoted Maksim Nesmiyanov, the head of the Ukraine’s Union of Consumers, as saying that milk products and ketchup are a dime a dozen at the marketplaces, where they’re mostly purchased by pensioners. Meanwhile, according to statistics, food prices in the Ukraine increased by about 10 percent since the beginning of this year, whilst the population’s purchasing power tumbled 20 percent within the same period.
23 October 2016