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How the fiscal cliff will affect your grocery bill

By Annie Bishop, KXLY4 Reporter , annieb@kxly.com
Published On: Dec 29 2012 06:36:24 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 29 2012 09:00:05 PM CST
How the fiscal cliff will affect your grocery bill
SPOKANE, Wash. -

If lawmakers don't reach an agreement to avoid a fiscal cliff, your grocery bill and the cost of a morning bowl of cereal may soon spike.

Because elected officials are busy with fiscal cliff discussions, they haven't had the time to renew the Federal Farm Bill. 

According to the Public Health Law Center, the bill is one of the most important pieces of legislation for the nation's food.

The bill plays a role in setting milk market prices.  If it is not renewed, the pricing guidelines would revert back to 1949 standards.  A step back in time could double milk prices.

Mike Vieira, owner of Spokane Family Farm, sells his milk directly to consumers.

"So we're not involved in the commodity marketing which sets the price of milk nationwide," Mike Vieira said.

"But with that being said we still have to be competitive with conventional milk," he added.

"We're so aware of customers, [we] have a relationship with them. . . It is hard for us to want have a price increase, but we're really to the point, it's right about the time we're going to be forced to," Vieira said.

Vieira believes a price hike could make his dairy more competitive or it could force people to cut back. 

He hopes lawmakers reach a decision soon.

"It's a no-brainer, we have to get our government financial situation under control, there has to be a budget and we have to quit spending more than we are taking in," he added.

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