Price of fresh milk on its way down

Listed food group Vivartia announced yesterday a 25 percent cut in the retail price of fresh milk of the Delta brand, in a bid to recover the market share it has lost over the past few years. Andreas Vgenopoulos, vice president of Marfin Investment Group which owns Vivartia, revealed on Skai Radio that fresh milk will go on sale at supermarkets at 1 euro per liter, down from an average 1.35 euros and at 1.20 euros in bakery stores and small shops, against a previous average of 1.58 euros. He also announced that the company is revoking its previous decision to cease its cooperation with milk producers in Thrace, in an effort to reverse the climate in the market in its favor. Consumer groups had staged boycotts against milk brands that sold at over 1 euro per liter, while the industry has been the focus of repeated investigation by the Competition Commission. The government is hoping that the moves by Vivartia, the market leader in fresh milk, will set a pattern for other dairy companies to follow. Agricultural Development and Food Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis expressed his satisfaction with the move yesterday. The price drop now makes Delta the second-cheapest fresh milk brand after Agno, which costs 0.96 euros per liter. In his statements on the radio, Vgenopoulos explained that the recent announcements by the Development Ministry regarding fresh milk were «a significant development» because «the state has finally done its duty and therefore we feel the social responsibility to perform ours.» On Wednesday the ministry had announced a series of measures relating to milk producers, such as making it compulsory to state the milk’s country of origin on the bottle or carton, and requiring separate stands for fresh milk so that it can be easily distinguished from other milk types. Later yesterday, Deputy Development Minister Giorgos Vlachos said there will be new measures in support of fresh pasteurized milk too.

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