NEWS

Report on milk is called a ‘joke’

A recent report on price fixing in the dairy industry is «a joke» and will not withstand legal tests, said the president of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEV), Dimitris Daskalopoulos, yesterday. Sources say the document, which has yet to be formally released, shows there are clear signs of price distortions in the fresh milk market. But Daskalopoulos, who also heads the dairy product company Vivartia, roundly dismissed the Competition Commission’s report. «The findings of the commission are a joke from a legal viewpoint. We are laughing at these findings,» Daskalopoulos told journalists. Sources told Kathimerini that the findings, already sent to dairy companies, implicate 17 dairy producers and retailers on four counts of price fixing and other cartel practices. Following months of investigation, the report suggests that dairy companies have colluded to fix prices for purchasing milk from producers and to channel their products to consumers using limited methods. They also allegedly agreed on prices and offers to consumers and are said to have forced distributors to serve only specific geographic areas. Sources said that the president has the backing of most SEV members. But concerns are growing among SEV officials over Daskalopoulos’s handling of the price-fixing issue and the broader impact it is having on the group of industrialists.