Italians dial up best food price
A text messaging service set up by the Italian government is helping its citizens to haggle on their high street.
The rising cost of food is a growing concern for many people across the world.
There have been protests, and even riots, in countries including Mexico, India and Egypt, clear evidence of the struggle that many people are now facing.
However, if Italians feel that their local food retailer is charging unreasonable prices, they can now call on a new service to help them haggle or walk away.
Thanks to a short message service (SMS) text system set up jointly by the Italian agriculture ministry and consumer associations, shoppers can check the average price of different foods in northern, central and southern Italy.
With prices spiralling out of control in some parts of the world, some people feel that it is high time consumers could check just how much traders are profiting.
Luca Di Maio is a consultant for the Consumer Federation in Rome, and explains that the new system lets consumers type the name of the food product they want to price check into their mobile phone and send a free text message to a dedicated number.
"After a few seconds you will receive an SMS that will tell you the different prices in the different areas of Italy", he says.