Nils-Fredrik Solem (Norway, UWC AC 2011-2013)
Catastrophes are happening all over the world: tsunamis ravaging countries, wars tearing up countries, financial crisis affecting the world, passenger boats sinking, etc.
Norway, however, has come out of the financial crisis well; some say it’s due to Norwegians’ oil resources, some say it’s their continuous hard-working ability, and Norway is geographically situated in an area with few natural disasters. But Norway had one remarkable disaster in 2011: there wasn’t any butter!
You’ve all probably heard about this crisis that all Norwegians had to live through- living for weeks with no real butter but only margarine! It must’ve been hard baking cakes without butter and eating your toasts without butter, but there was always a solution- you can order butter on the Norwegian eBay: finn.no. But be warned, the price of half a kilo of butter went as high as 100£. The reasons for this scarcity is not yet clear. Some explain it with the new “low-carb diet” where fat products take a central part, the national dairy producing firm Tine explain it by saying that a bad summer affected the crops destined for the cows, therefore the cows produced less milk, and hence less butter was produced. It is hard to verify those statements, but there is some truth behind them.
What Tine doesn’t want to admit is that they are responsible for at least some wrong-doing. Tine almost has a monopoly for the dairy products in Norway, the company doesn’t wish to be competitive, and it’s not as vigorous as a firm that fights for a market share. It isn’t the first time Tine has been found guilty in bad leadership coordination: in 1950, they managed to produce an excess of three million kilograms of butter.
This crisis is an example of the inefficiency of the monopolies in Norway. Norway is often seen as the richest country in the world, and Norwegians are very aware of it, but it keeps Norway from achieving their full potential as they rest on their laurels.
-United Words Team-