The price of fresh local milk is to go up with effect from Monday. The increases in the prices of BENNA products range from two cents to eleven cents.
Malta Dairy Products stated that this increase was necessary in order to sustain the livelihood of herdsmen, farmers who grow animal feed, and milk producers.
Meanwhile, the Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority said it would look into the announced increases.
Among others, milk in one litre blue cartons will go up by 10c, and milk in light blue cartons and skimmed milk will go up by 11c.
The company explained that despite increases in the costs of feed in foreign markets and operational expenses, it has managed to keep local milk prices stable for seven years. The company added that the increase in milk prices was necessary in order to sustain the livelihood of herdsmen, farmers who grow feed and workers involved in milk production, whilst ensuring consumers continue to have access to quality products. Malta Dairy Products added that with its new pricing structure, Benna will remain competitive when compared to fresh milk sold in other European countries.
The company added that it is limiting this increase to not more than the general increase in food prices, according to Eurostat statistics for the past seven years. The company further stated it is working on a modernisation programme to ensure economic and environmental sustainability in this sector.
Meanwhile, the Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority announced it would be carrying out an investigation to establish whether these increases are the result of abuse of dominant market position and in contravention of the law. The Authority added that in a competitive market, the company is free to fix prices for its products. The Authority considers, however, that the company’s products may have a strong market position, and every increase in the prices of local milk should not be to the detriment of consumers.