Milk prices in Romanian stores, down by 20% after public agreement
The price of fresh milk in Romanian stores has decreased on average by 20% after the retailers and milk processors finalized their negotiations, the Competition Council announced.
“Although this is a voluntary agreement, and the retailers and processors are not legally obliged to take part in it, they have joined this Government initiative in large numbers, and the price cuts for fresh Romanian milk have reached up to 34% for some products,” said Competition Council president Bogdan Chiritoiu.
The agreement, initiated and intermediated by prime minister Nicolae Ciuca in a meeting with representatives of the retailers, processors and farmers in Romania, went into force on May 1 and is valid for six months. Its goal is to increase the sales of fresh milk sourced from Romania, which have declined due to competition from cheaper imported milk.
The price cuts should be covered exclusively by the retailers and processors and should not affect farmers, who should instead be able to sell more milk at the same price as before, according to the Competition Council’s president.
However, many farmers have started to complain that the agreement has pushed down the prices they get from processors and that they may have to slaughter their cows because they are not able to cover their costs, according to Ziarul Financiar. Milk producers say they now get between RON 1.4-2.2 (28-44 eurocents) per litre for the raw milk they sell to processors, down from RON 3 (60 eurocents) per litre during the winter months. While in food stores, milk is sold for an average of 6.9-9.5 RON (1.4-1.9 EUR).
According to the agreement, from 1 May, the shelf price of milk should be reduced by 20%. The reduction applies to milk of Romanian origin, if the price on supermarket shelf exceeds 7 RON/litre (1.4 EUR/l), and the cut is split between retailers (minimum 10%) and processors (minimum 10%).