SEOUL, Nov. 16 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s agricultural minister on Thursday voiced concerns about “shrinkflation” and urged local food makers to collaborate with the government’s initiatives to address inflation.
The term refers to companies’ move to reduce the quantity of their products while freezing prices without consumers’ knowledge.
“Customers typically do not thoroughly check product details,” remarked Agricultural Minister Chung Hwang-keun during a press briefing. “Unless companies proactively notify the changes to customers, silently altering the label from 100 grams to 90 grams could be perceived as a trick.”
Chung noted before reviewing the legal aspects of shrinkflation, it would be more advisable for consumer organizations to take action against such tactics
The agricultural minister also reiterated his call for food companies to refrain from raising prices.
“When wheat prices more than doubled, companies significantly increased their price tags. Despite the current stabilization of wheat prices, product prices continue to remain high,” Chung said. “We plan to continue consultations with the companies.”
South Korea’s inflation, meanwhile, grew at a faster pace in October, staying above 3 percent for the third consecutive month, due to higher prices of energy and farm goods.
Prices of agricultural, livestock and fishery products jumped 7.3 percent, with those of vegetables surging 13.5 percent, the most in 29 months.
Addressing the recent outbreak of lumpy skin disease (LSD) in the country, Chung expressed confidence that the government will effectively bring the situation under control.
“The overall outbreaks are generally declining. It will significantly decrease by the end of November,” the minister said.
Chung said the country plans to vaccinate all cattle next year as well. South Korea completed inoculating more than 4 million cattle nationwide last week.
The country has confirmed 98 LSD cases nationwide so far, including one from the previous day. Authorities are investigating four suspected cases as well, the agricultural ministry said.