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Dairy farmers sour after Aldi slashes milk prices

The Local · 3 May 2012, 09:00

Published: 03 May 2012 09:00 GMT+02:00

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Milk production has been at an all-time high in Germany, but weak demand has put pressure on prices, as reflected in a recent purchasing contract between dairy farms and the food retail industry.

But farmers were taken by surprise by the announcement by Aldi Süd, one of Germany's biggest food retailers, that prices on a wide range of dairy products would be reduced by up to 10 percent. The price of a litre of milk was slashed by 6 cent, and that of a block of butter by 14 percent.

The announcement triggered disapproval from the head of the AgrarMinisterKonferenz, which represents industry as well as state and federal agriculture ministries. Alexander Bonde said that, “the irresponsible price battles of discount supermarkets” was ruining the Germany's farms and rural areas.

In 2011, German dairy cows churned out 29.3 million tonnes of milk – the most ever produced. This is a development that has “put the dairy industry under pressure,” said Hans Foldenauer, spokesperson for the German Federal Dairy Farmers Association.

He added that although the volume of milk produced had risen, the number of dairy producers was falling and that farmers are having to battle constantly against climbing energy and animal food prices.

Another huge discount supermarket chain Rewe said it would also be reducing prices on milk and butter from Thursday but did not confirm by how much. Another popular German supermarket chain, Edeka, confirmed that they would not be making changes to their dairy prices.

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:29 May 3, 2012 by bobmarchiano
Whats the up roar just because the markets are lowing the cost of milk

does not mean farmers are getting less for there milk.

Farmers will sell there product at the same cost. Stores will sell milk as a lost liter (lose money) to get you in the store to buy other products.

Lower cost milk products mean more sales and farmers will sell more milk to keep up with demand SO WHATS THE PROBLEM

We all win
22:38 May 3, 2012 by Sayer
Which means that taxpayers who subsidize milk production through the Common Agricultural Policy of the EU, might get some of their money back, and some value for it. For a change. Can we slash MEP's salaries too?
12:40 May 4, 2012 by BlueWolf
Let me know when I can buy a 4l carton of milk - these piddly 1 or 1.5l cartons are pointless.
22:55 June 29, 2012 by renolds531
Over here in UK a major dairy company was recently taken over by a German company, they have just announced a price cut to the farmer, as the supermarkets are demanding a lower price.

Farmers have to make a living and if the price is reduced to much this will not be the case. Notice the price is dictated by the supermarket, not the dairy or farmer or even the householder.

I detest supermarkets they have to much power over the people, you can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, which is just long enough to close down the small trader.

I pay a little more for my milk. It is locally produced, organic, non homogenised, it even tells you the name of the heard on the label, and best of all it tastes better and the farmer gets a proper price, win win win!.
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