USA: Milk prices rise on the shelf, but fall on the farm
Milk prices in America are "up in the grocery, but down on the farm." A report by the CNN Food Center claims that "pricing a gallon of milk depends not only on where you are, but who you are." Here are some details on the prices of milk in the USA: last month, shoppers in Chicago were paying nearly US$4 for a gallon of milk, up to 30% more that shoppers anywhere else in the country. "But in January, prices paid to dairy farmers dropped by 40% from California to Wisconsin," CNN Food Center said.Who milks whom? Wisconsin farmer Robin Berg sprayed milk on his alfalfa fields two weeks ago. He said: "This past spring we got 83 cents a gallon for our milk, and the consumer paid US$2.87 a gallon for milk ."Californians are now paying nearly US$4 a gallon in stores, but farmers are only getting US$1.20 of it, and California produces more milk than any other State. "Consumer advocates, product analysts, and even some dairy farmers point to the law of supply and demand, saying the abundance of milk on the market is driving down prices paid to farmers. Not long ago, many farmers dumped their milk to protest the low returns; but still, grocery chains seem to be charging more, the report noted.Elisa Odabashian, a senior policy analyst for Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, has her doubts. CNN Food Center quotes her saying that "I do feel for the farmers, but I know that when the farm price goes up, consumers will pay for it." The report concludes its finding saying that "while some shoppers may balk at rising grocery milk prices, other will pay. It's just a question of who profits."
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