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Farmers denounce alleged fraud by 16 distributors to lower milk prices

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The Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers (UPA) has denounced an alleged fraud committed by up to 16 distribution chains, which are said to be artificially lowering the prices of a litre of milk on their shelves, even below their production costs.

A new alleged fraud committed by up to 16 distribution chains could be causing an artificial drop in the price of milk charged to farmers. This was denounced by the Union of Small Farmers and Ranchers (UPA), which described the reductions on their shelves as “reckless”.

The association therefore recalled that the price of milk “must be determined from origin to destination, and not the other way around”. That is to say, the final value of each litre must include the sum of what farmers and intermediaries charge, something that is not happening and that could end up harming the self-employed in the dairy sector again.

“Certain large distribution chains are refusing to abandon abusive practices that have caused great damage to the food chain in our country. Milk, as a basic product in the shopping basket, is once again the object of practices that have proven to be abusive, such as reckless price reductions, ignoring the production costs of the product,” explained UPA.

They have thus denounced that at least 16 large distribution chains ” would be forcing down the price of milk, engaging in behaviour persecuted by the Food Chain Law, which clearly establishes that the price of food must be determined from origin to destination, and never the other way around.”

The farmers and ranchers’ association estimates that the production costs of a litre of milk are currently around 50 cents for the livestock sector, between 20 and 25 cents for the industrial sector and a minimum of 15 or 20 cents for the distribution sector.

Taking these figures into account, “prices below 0.77 euro per litre, as observed in recent days on some shelves, would clearly be below production costs,” said UPA.

For this reason, the association stated that it is documenting all these offers in order to pass on the information to the Food Information and Control Agency (AICA), which it has asked to act to stop the destruction of the value of milk. And, finally, the farmers have once again called on the distribution “to be sensitive to the situation of the dairy sector and not force price reductions that later translate into the closure of farms and the loss of productive fabric,” they concluded.

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