Take Back the Loaf

So global wheat prices are up by—well, a stupefying amount. What’s a stupefying amount, you ask, because you’re a nitpicking, no-adjectives-for-me Grinder reader. How about, say, 287 percent since the beginning of 2006, according to the Toronto Star. That’s made wheat farmers very happy; bakers—yeah, not so much.

Still, I wasn’t expecting this, gleaned from that same Star story:

The U.S. baking industry’s trade association, representing firms such as Kellogg Co., Sara Lee Corp. and Interstate Bakeries Corp., plans a march on Washington by the firms’ employees later this month to press for a reduction in U.S. wheat exports.

No word on whether Sara Lee herself will participate in the march. (She’s chained to the stove, so marching isn’t easy for her.) Looking at the American Bakers Association’s website, it isn’t clear if the Star was erroneously referring to a March lobbying effort or to an unspecified future event. More details as we learn them: We’re on the Little-Debbie-goes-to-Washington beat. (Also, for the economically curious, Porfolio’s instant analysis is that even an export cap wouldn’t help bakers. Prices would drop along with demand, so farmers would switch acreage to another crop.)

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