Price increases and bills, milk costs like petrol: "It's the perfect storm"

Price increases and bills, milk costs like petrol: “It’s the perfect storm”

A liter of milk could cost more than a liter of petrol in a few days. Or maybe it already costs it, as we read on some social networks. The tsunami of dear energy claims another victim even if, even in this case, the alarm has not sounded now, as you remember Absolute. Increases in gas and electricity as the last link in the chain, paying 2 euros for one of the most common consumer goods in the shopping cart of Italians is the probable, perhaps inevitable consequence of an endless spiral. Two giants remember him like Lactalis And Granarolo, for once allies and not competitors in the face of the common danger: for months the milk supply chain has undergone all kinds of increases, starting from the increased costs of animal feed, “aggravated by the drought that has reduced both farmers’ harvests and milk production (the price paid to farmers has increased by 50%) ». Not to mention the packaging, «with paper and plastic in constant increase, and the other components used in the production of dairy products». Two euros for a liter of milk, however, have a very strong symbolic value, they are the frontier that until a year ago no one thought they would see one step away. And instead we have now seen that in a few weeks the price reached 1.7-1.8 euros and that the increases in energy costs have already exploded up to 200%, in 2022, the impact of inflation on compartment. The stable price, Assolatte calculates, “is increasing dramatically, reaching values ​​that no one would have imagined until a few months ago”. Last year, in these weeks, spot milk (bulk in tanks) cost 39 cents and farm-gate milk 38. Today, the former travels on values ​​over 65 cents (+ 66%) and the latter has reached 57 cents. (+ 50%). Large farms suffer, almost all in the Center North but the alarm concerns the entire livestock sector: almost one out of ten farms, Coldiretti reports, is in such a critical situation as to lead to the cessation of activity due to the incessant increase in costs. .

Lactalis and Granarolo launch the SOS to the government, Assolatte goes to the concrete of the proposals to stem the emergency, given that the war in Ukraine is one of the contributing causes is far from its conclusion. Milk producers propose the reduction of energy costs by intervening on excise duties and taxes and by deciding a ceiling on gas and energy prices, simplifying the life of those who do business through a robust cut in production costs. But the early elections and the not-so-short timeframe for the installation of the new government are not allies of those in a hurry to turn the page. «Until today – says the president of Coldiretti Ettore Prandini – today, thanks to the cooperation between breeders, industries and large retailers, it has been possible to contain the increases towards consumers and citizens, but now we are no longer able to hold up except with an increase in prices because the situation is becoming unsustainable ». In danger there is a system composed of 24 thousand Italian dairy stalls which guarantee a production of 12.7 million tons per year and feeds a national dairy production chain that expresses a value of over 16 billion euros with over 200,000 people between direct and indirect employees. “The stability of the Italian livestock network has an importance that does not only concern the national economy but – says Prandini – has a social and environmental importance because when a barn closes, an entire system made up of animals, of meadows for fodder is lost, of typical cheeses and above all of people committed to fighting, often for entire generations, the depopulation and degradation of the territories especially in disadvantaged areas ».

A fairly realistic working hypothesis is that which points to supply chain agreements between agricultural and industrial companies, “with precise qualitative and quantitative objectives and fair prices that never fall below production costs as required by the new law to combat unfair practices. and speculation ”, insists the number one of the agricultural organization. But on the table there is also an old proposal from Assolatte that has never been thoroughly investigated: the zeroing of VAT on all products of the dairy supply chain. Currently, in fact, among the food products at risk for Italy, such as sunflower seeds, pasta, legumes and more, the VAT regime is 4%. It would certainly not cost little to implement it, but the supply chain cannot wait indefinitely: by the end of the year, he said Davide Minicozzipresident of the Campania and Molise Breeders Association, “will be dozens of companies forced to close as they can no longer support increasingly loss-making activities.”

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