ood prices may stabilize next summer By JOANNE NORRIS Staff writer *'Â· Food prices, highest in the nation's history, will : ^continue their upward spiral until mid-year when a less bleak picture may be in store for the family Jood purchaser. - ' That was the prediction Wednesday of Clarence ;G. Adamy, president of the National Association of sFood Chains who, with executives of fdur leading ^California supermarket chains, discussed food prices" -at a press conference in Los Angeles. Â® Â· $ v ' ' ' fr ' Adamy denied that food chains are the rip-off 'artists in the bruising economic situation that saw 'Â· parket prices leap 12 per cent during 1974. He said * ifood chains averaged just over per cent net profit f i Jon each dollar of sales during 1973 and about % of a Â·' cent on each dollar since then. Ten years ago net profits were almost 1M cents a dollar. "Yet there 1 ( were no cries then of price gouging," he said. ', Profits of other industries including other retail- iÂ£ ers are higher than those of the food chains, he said, , admitting the chains will have to catch up by raising prices and cutting costs. "We need the profit mar* gins to buy necessary equipment," he said. Neverth- * less, prices will stabilize about July if the nation has good weather, he forecast. But if the sun doesn't shine, the high rate of inflation may well continue. ( ONE OF THE MAIN reasons food products remained relatively stable in price for the 20-year period prior to 1973 was because of the nation's grain surplus, a surplus that no longer exists, Adamy said. Â· ' Â· , Â· . ' ' The current low supply of gram affects the marketplace because 80 per cent of all food prices are related to grain prices. Poor harvests in 1974, the wheat deals with the Soviet Union, the increasing demand for protein products by Western European countries and Japan, all added to the depletion of American supplies of grain, he said. "And Earl Butz (U.S. Secretary of Agriculture) was hired to get rid of that surplus," he declared. "You and 1 told him so. After all there had been a large decline in the number of farms in the last century...The average age of farmers in this country is 55...and the only way to turn this around was to increase farm income." Eliminating the surplus has helped do this, he claimed. Adamy said exports of basic items are expected to decline by 34 per'cent this year. The National Association of Food Chains, while it hasn't actively protestd the exports, has "quietly added its voice to , say if you're going'to sell abroad, which.will increse American prices, you should tell the public what you're doing,"Adamy said. Other factors involved in rising food prices are devaluation of the dollar and the gold price change, both of which affect exports, and the energy crisis. Inflation, in general, has hit food chains as it has everyone else, he said. Federal trade and other governmental regulations also were named as culprits. PRICE BREAKS for the consumer may come in fruits and vegetables if the weather cooperates, Adamy said. Prices of beef, potatoes, rice and beans already have dropped. "Ground beef is down 30 cents a pound over a year ago." Adamy said the overwhelming increase in sugar prices during 1974 was due to both increasing demand and some market- manipulation. The price hikes resulted from more demand from the international market including the Arabs, who bought a year's supply at one time, plus "some manipulation" on the part of suppliers, he said. He also cited the "stupid, stupid, stupid" control program of the federal, government "which held sugar under controls while other market items were not controlled." As a result, there was a marked Â· decline in the sugar beet crop because farmers planted more profitable things. This year there will be -a large crop of beets, he predicted. Alternatives -- other sweeteners developed from such things as corn in response to high sugar prices -- also will benefit the consumer, Adamy said. Â· . . The food chain executives agreed that the -AT ROME-FASHION'SHOWINGS- Soft, flowing styles for evening, fullness for daytime Life/style INDEPENDENT (AM) ' PRESS-TELEGRAM (PMj-A-17 Joyce Christensen, Editor um, wach, calil. Thurs., Jan.".'Â»Â» SHUNNING patterns and prints for evening, American- born designer Frank Martieri previewed chiffons in dove grey,' white, sugar pink, pleated and handkerchief-pointed styles reminiscent of the 1930s. ORIENTAL-printed chiffon dress flowing from loose bodice .into sleeves gathered to the elbow was one of several shown by Italian fashion designer Tita Rossi during spring- summer previews this week. THESE chiffon evening bloomers were variation of the mini-skirt offered by Tita Rossi. They come complete with long wraparound skirt as a coverup. AP and UPI Wirephofos By PEGGY POLK ROME (UPD--Longer skirts are still in the ascendancy but two Italian designers are offering women the option of wearing a mini once in a while. Both Heinz Riva and Tita Rossi skwed several mini-length outfits Tuesday in their high fashion collections for next spring and summer. But they played it safer than Halston, whose clinging mini dress called "the shrink" fell flat in New York last fall. The Riva and Rossi versions were mostly mini pants rather than skirts. They followed this season's bulky lines and they came with an optional coverup. RIVA'S MINIS, shaped rather like culottes, went under blousy, belted tunics and lightweight wool coats that covered the knee. The sleeves were as interesting as the length -- very full and hanging loose to the elbow or below like a Philippine folk dress. American shopper is going back to purchasing basic items rather than so much processed food. There has been a decline on frozen food sales and the sale of diet and health foods is "peaking out" after increases in recent years. ' _ . More and more shoppers are using unit pricing and more are beginning to use the nutritional labeling and preparation instructions manufacturers are instituting, the executives said. Â· Â· 'Â· Thomas Field, senior vice president of Alpha " Beta, which recently launched a menu-planning program by cookbook author and TV personality Graham Kerr, said Kerr believes the day of the gourmet is over. "He said people are concerned with ' whether food is nutritious and economical. Only about 5 per cent are interested in gourmet foods Â· now," Field claimed. ' Â·' Adamy said that, under pressure from the feder- Â·' al government, food market chains are placing more | women in executive positions. . "It's not easy to find ones who have the right kind of preparation," he said. "And a lot of girls . don't want to work and a lot of girls don't want the added responsibility." Appealing with Adamy were, besides Field, W.H. Fisher Jr., chairman of the board of Lucky Stores; Richard Ralphs, chairman of the executive committee of Ralphs; and Lawrence A. Del Santo, president of Von's. PRINTED Georgette evening dress in impressionist color combinations of mauve, pale blue and ivory was part of collection from Pino Lancetti at Rome fashion previews. For evening he showed a sheer dark green chiffon mini dress with the same big sleeves and a three-tiered, long striped skirt to wrap over the mini. Rossi's talented new designer, Cuban-born Manolo Verde, put boxy cuffed "walking pants" and gathered print blouses under lightweight wool coats and bloomers under a long wrap-around dirndl skirt of matching chiffon. A scarf was knotted to one side for a gypsy-style belt. . PINO LANCETTI, a painter as well as couturier, produced series after series of wonderful flower or fruit prints sometimes mixed with stripes or polka dots. All his daytime clothes and some for evening were combinations of navy blue and white with very blousy tops gathered from yokes that sometimes fell over the shoulders. The skirts were fitted over the hips, of accordion pleats or almost straight. The models wore severe straw fedoras. For evening he exploded into extravagant gypsy costumes in yards and yards of printed georgette or the tucks and ruffles of a flamenco dancer's dress. Actor praises availability of Music Center facilities ACTOR RICHARD CHAMBERLAIN is sur- standing left; Charles Lourtie, standing rounded by Women Fore members from right; Theodore Miller, seated left, and Lee Long Beach, Mmes. Charles Armstrong, Bentzen. By DIANNE SMITH Staff Writer Before completion of the Los Angeles Music Center complex 10 years ago, the city was known as "a cultural wasteland, but now it is mining a rich vein of talent" through its resident theater groups. Speaking Tuesday was an actor who has performed Shakespeare at the Ahmanson, Richard Chamberlain. He was addressing a morning meeting of Women Fore, a support group for the Music Center, in the Blue Ribbon Room of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. "Thank you from me for giving us actors a place to work and to share live theater with the city," he said. A native of Los Angeles, Chamberlain was graduated from Beverly High School and Pomona College. He studied acting following a hitch in the Army and has gone the gamut from the "Dr. Kildare" television series to Shakespeare -- starring as Richard II and Cyrano de Bergerac at the Music Center the last two seasons. He also appears in the current movie, "Towering Inferno." "I LIKE variety. I love doing the classics, but I'm looking for a contemporary play to do. "My first acting job was ,1 half-day's work on 'Gunsmoke'," he said. ' Dressed regally in a royal blue velvet jacket and vest with blue striped shirt, print tie and Ian slacks, the actor was asked about his mod hairstyle. "It's a perm and it costs a lot of money," he quipped. Praising the accomplishments of the Music Center, he noted that the Mark Taper Forum has presented 12 world premieres and 14 American premieres. "That's quite an enviable record." Noting that the Music Center is known throughout the United States, he said that while it's the "least debt-ridden complex in the country, it's not breaking even. We need your support." Women Fore has set a $225,000 goal for its fund-raising efforts this year. The overall goal of the Music Center Unified Fund campaign is $1,850,000 dollars. THERE ARE 400 members in Women Fore, divided into community groups. In Long Beach there arc two such groups -- the Philharmonic affiliate and the Juniors. Mrs. Theodore Miller is president of the former and Mrs. Charles Armstrong of the latter. Heading the fund-raising committees are Mmes. Lee Bentr.en, Arthur Falk and Charles Lourtie for Juniors. Chamberlain added that the facility wouldn't "mean much if it was a place where just the rich folk go, but students have access to it. I've talked to student groups -- some of them have never been exposed to theater before and they can come here for a small fee or none. That makes it worthwhile." Mrs. Charles Snodgrass, chairman of Women Fore, reminded members that at the halfway point of their campaign, they have reached only 19 per cent of their total goal. "It will take all our combined efforts, resourcefulness and diligence to achieve total success. Together we can win."
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