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Lactalis in the crosshairs of the Italian authorities for “unfair practices” on the price of milk

2024-02-26T14:13:44.019Z

Highlights: Lactalis in the crosshairs of the Italian authorities for “unfair practices” on the price of milk. The French dairy giant is targeted by a first fine and around a hundred proceedings. Italian government considering that it “took advantage of its dominant position” to impose its prices on producers. Lactalis, whose subsidiary Italatte intends to appeal this fine and possible other future sanctions, considering "the alleged economic damage as completely unfounded" The global giant indicates that it is the leading buyer in the milk sector in Italy, with an annual collection of around 1.3 billion liters.


The French dairy giant is targeted by a first fine and around a hundred proceedings, with the Italian government considering that it “took advantage of its dominant position” to impose its prices on producers.


A milk price lowered

“unilaterally”

last year: already heavily criticized for its practices with French producers, the dairy giant Lactalis is in the sights of the Italian Ministry of Agriculture which imposed an initial fine of 74,000 euros for

“unfair practices”

.

An accusation which was refuted by Lactalis, whose subsidiary Italatte intends to appeal this fine and possible other future sanctions, considering

"the alleged economic damage as completely unfounded"

, according to a press release from the group received this Monday, February 26.

Last year,

“the proposed contractual changes allowed farmers to earn 40 million euros”

more than in 2022, or

“10% more than initially planned, at a price in line with the market”

, argues Lactalis.

Italian government charges Lactalis

The multinational

"took advantage of its dominant position in Italy to unilaterally revise the contracts concluded with our milk producers, which led to a drop in their income"

, on the contrary affirmed Saturday the Minister of Agriculture Francesco Lollobrigida.

“Lactalis must respect the rules of this country, our producers and our production costs

,” he declared during a forum in Saturnia (center).

In addition to a first fine, the Inspectorate for the Repression of Fraud in Agri-Food Products, which depends on the ministry, notified Lactalis of the opening of 100 other procedures for

“unfair practices”

concerning the price of milk paid to Italian breeders.

“This is a first historic victory in a battle over the price of milk which will be long and difficult

,” reacted the president of the main agricultural union Coldiretti, Ettore Prandini.

“We were the only organization to denounce the multinational Lactalis because it did not respect the contracts signed with farmers, by modifying them unilaterally

,” he said.

Coldiretti demands that

“Lactalis now pays the difference to the aggrieved farmers

,” he added.

“The vast majority of milk producers in Italy have accepted new contracts”

offered in April 2023, however, a source close to the group assured AFP.

Lactalis concluded an agreement with Coldiretti in January 2023 on milk prices, but a review clause provided for a renegotiation in April, to take into account the evolution of prices in Europe.

The global giant indicates that it is the leading buyer in the milk sector in Italy, with an annual collection of around 1.3 billion liters, or 11% of the total value of national production.

Source: lefigaro

All business articles on 2024-02-26

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