August 18, 2017 / 8:31 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Turkey to adjust tax in effort to bring down meat prices

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ISTANBUL, Aug 18 (Reuters) - Turkey will adjust a tax in an effort to bring down the cost of meat, the government’s food committee said on Friday.

Turkey has been fighting to rein in inflation, which spiked to an 8-1/2 year high of 11.87 percent earlier this year. Economists have long said a drastic overhaul of the food supply chain is needed to contain food prices and keep inflation in check.

In a statement, the government’s food committee said it would adjust a customs tax on the raw materials used in animal feed to lower the cost of meat production.

The supply chain for fresh fruit and vegetables would be required to conform to standards and regulations, it said.

The government has said it wants to shave 1 percentage point off headline inflation via measures in the food supply chain, which is rife with middlemen and hindered by bureaucracy.

Farmers’ costs include imposts, pesticide tests and quality certification, all of which are usually handled by informal middlemen, driving up costs.

In some cases, produce is sold at four or five times its production cost, the customs and trade minister has said. (Reporting by Behiye Selin Taner and Can Sezer; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Andrew Roche)

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