Assurances offered on Greek fresh milk

All government checks so far have shown that imported milk is not being sold in Greece as fresh local produce, the Agriculture Ministry said yesterday following a meeting with dairy producers. «Inspections carried out so far have shown that Greek fresh milk is produced from Greek milk exclusively,» Deputy Agriculture Minister Alexandros Kontos said in reference to media concern that this might not be the case. «Nevertheless, the inspections will continue.» But the head of the farmers’ umbrella union (GESASE), Giorgos Goniotakis, claimed dairy industries use imported produce in the fresh milk they market as Greek. Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou said his ministry’s competition commission was looking into allegations that Greek dairy prices are excessively high. The head of the association of Greek food industries (SEVT), Dimitris Daskalopoulos, conceded that Greek milk was on average 12 percent higher than the fresh milk on sale in other European Union states, adding that local producers’ prices were on average about 14 percent higher than in other EU countries.