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Retail food prices were 10 percent higher in 1978 than in 1977. The largest increases were for red meat and fresh fruits and vegetables, up 19 and 14 percent, respectively. Higher farm values for food commodities, up 16 percent, accounted for half of the increase in grocery store food prices last year. The spread between farm and retail prices (representing charges made for processing and distributing foods after they leave the farm) was up 8.2 percent and accounted for 40 percent of the food-price increase. Higher prices for fish and imported foods accounted for 10 percent of the increase.


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