Blog: UK consumers cheesed off at price-fixing claims
Dean Best | 20 September 2007
Claims of price-fixing in the UK dairy sector are pretty ironic given the price increases being paid to the country’s farmers this year as milk supply tightens.
The UK’s competition watchdog claims the country’s largest supermarkets and number of its leading dairy processors colluded to raise the price of milk, butter and cheese – leaving shoppers out of pocket to the tune of GBP270m (US$542m).
The period under review is 2002/03, a time when farmers were under severe financial pressure and many were leaving the industry. Now, farmers are reaping the benefits of bumper price rises amid heightened demand and restricted supply.
The story is full of irony. Claims that retailer and supplier joined forces to illegally fix prices is an unrecognisable picture to many food processors facing perpetual pressure from retailers on price. Indeed, in recent weeks, some suppliers have even called for a “supermarket watchdog” to ensure UK retailers do not abuse their power.
Nevertheless, the whole situation just feeds the growing scepticism among the UK public over the motives of the country’s retailers. Just the allegation that the supermarkets trousered the extra cash from higher dairy prices will leave shoppers all the more certain that the likes of Tesco, Asda and Morrisons are only interested in profiteering from consumers.
Danone completed its US$12.5bn acquisition of WhiteWave Foods this week. The move will roughly double Danone's presence in North America, where WhiteWave is a top four dairy player. ...
Premier Foods plc revealed today (28 March) it has secured a deal with its pension scheme trustees that will see the UK food maker reduce its pension burden....
Hain Celestial, under the scrutiny of the investment community in recent months and facing some challenges in its domestic market, has announced another shuffling of its management pack....
FrieslandCampina, which today served up higher profits but lower sales for 2016, is ready to offload the last non-dairy business owned by the Dutch cooperative giant....
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