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The milk war has started

27 April 2009 / 12:04:04  GRReporter
2218 reads

Vivartia decided to lower the “Delta” milk price with ?0.35 and sell it for ?1. This way the competition on the pasteurized milk market is going to go under the “red” line. The milk will be sold for ?1 in the supermarkets and for ?1.20 in the mini-markets instead of ?1.58, which was the price until last Thursday. This price will bring the competition to fight for survival.

As a result of the crisis, few weeks ago Vivartia sent an official letter to all milk producers in Macedonia and Thrace, with which it informed them that very soon it will stop buying up their product. Following, the producers started protesting and last Thursday the Ministry of Development said that Vivartia has to override its decision and the cooperation has to continue. According to “Vima” newspaper sources, this will cost the company ?30 million annually. The decision, which Vivartia took to withdraw from the milk producing sector in East Macedonia and Thrace, was a result of the calculation that the company is left with 100 to 200 tons of milk daily.

It is a fact that even before the crisis hit the milk market, some of the prices had started going down, others were kept the same and thirds had increased a bit. Pasteurized milk, which some companies started importing from Germany and Austria, was the first product, which started selling at a price of ?0.90. The first Greek milk, which was sold for under one Euro, was the milk of the company “Agno,” which made a contract with bread producers.

During the last few years many small local milk producing firms entered the Athens market selling milk for about one Euro per liter, when at the same time, on their local market they were selling it for ?1.30 and ?1.40. Many of the firms should expect to have some problems in the time to come.

In the meanwhile, there is a discussion about whether the pasteurized milk is expensive on the Greek market. All this, caused redistribution of the market shares and for the first time there are signs of stagnation. The only milk, which is successfully sold on the market is the pasteurized on high temperature one.

A decision was made last week that the packaging of all milk products should say the country where it is produced and that the pasteurized and pasteurized on high temperature milks should be placed in different shelves in the supermarkets.

Right now all milk producers are expected to follow to “wait and see” tactic until it becomes clear what will happen after Vivartia decided to lower its milk prices in Greece.

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