Partnered with consumer advocacy organizations, Italy’s government has set up a text messaging program that allows shoppers to check average food prices for their region against the prices asked at their local markets. If a shopper is looking to purchase a tomato, for example, she may enter the type of produce in a free text to the number, and will receive the average prices and wholesale price in a return message.
Tom Standage, business editor at the Economist, explains to the BBC that the function of the text messaging service is to empower consumers with information, which in turn will create more efficient markets. While the success of the service is yet to be measured, it may provide a local model for dealing with the global food crisis, one likely to be emulated in markets worldwide.
Source: The BBC