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The nation is facing a shortage of hot cross buns this year. There is a simple solution to this. We should all eat fewer of them. Something that the market system will ensure as it happens, the lack of sultanas, raisins and currants (there is apparently a difference between these, not one we know) means their price is higher. Thus bakers are charging us more for the Easter comestibles containing them – higher prices mean we’ll buy fewer. Good, job solved and no task forces, regulations or intervention required.

You know, markets do in fact work. How excellent that we use markets then:

EASTER shoppers may not be happy bunnies this year as the price of traditional Hot Cross Buns are likely to rise in the near future.

The cost of the tasty Easter tea-time treat is set to rocket as the cost of dried fruits – such as raisins, sultanas and currants – is set to soar.

The solution is already baked into the system and nothing more need to be done.

Bakeries are facing higher costs for the dried fruits due to the crop shortages – US raisin prices have risen by 50 per cent since September.

Farmers have been producing fewer and fewer sultanas, currants and raisins and focusing on other crops due to low profits over the past few years.

But the situation has reportedly been exacerbated by a heatwave.

No, this is not something that can be solved by the usual Caroline Lucas bleating, that we should make more at home. The British climate doesn’t produce the three, derived as they are from grapes and dry weather. As Adam Smith pointed out we can manage grapes even in Scotland but dry weather is in short supply on our isles. We can also use this as an argument against locally produced food – that we get to celebrate a bloke being nailed to a cross through the glories of international trade. Something which gives us a clue as to what a useful cure for this ailment is.

The hot cross bun is, traditionally, for Good Friday only. Instead of the rolling season of months either side of it that we’re used to in this modern cornucopia. So, let us be traditionalist about it, only eat the buns on the day of the buns. Yes, of course, it’s obviously better that we be able to eat as we wish when we do so but hard times make for hard choices. Teacakes until March 29, hot cross buns the next day and we’re done, aren’t we?