Milk is checked for sour prices

The Competition Commission said yesterday that it had undertaken a check of the milk market last week to determine whether price-fixing agreements were distorting the sector. The commission, part of the Development Ministry, said it held a review of the market on June 6-7, concerning businesses and cooperatives. «The purpose of the check is to detect the possible existence of illegal collaboration, which may amount to setting prices or controlling production,» the commission added. Five inspection teams conducted the review, focusing on Attica and parts of northern Greece such as Thessaloniki, Florina and Kozani, where most of the country’s dairy products originate. The findings will be examined and recommendations will then be made, according to sources. The commission had also asked the University of Piraeus to prepare a study outlining the milk market in a report that was meant to have been ready a year ago. There have been no announcements regarding this study. Research conducted by the Development Ministry last year found that the average price of pasteurized milk in Greece is 12 percent higher than in the rest of the European Union. Apart from facing accusations of profiteering, the milk sector has also been accused of misleading consumers with incorrect labeling on milk cartons. The Hellenic Food Authority said last year that in 73 percent of cases, information on the packaging misled the consumer about the product’s nutritional value.

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