Dairy Price Hikes Spark Discussion on Industry Structure

The price of dairy products has risen 16% over the past year, well above inflation rates. At the same time, Auðhumla, the parent company of MS Iceland Dairies, which buys almost 100% of all milk produced in Iceland, reported record profits last year and an increase of ISK 4 billion [$29 million, €26.5 million] in operational profits between years. The CEO of MS Iceland Dairies told RÚV production costs have also risen and there is little real profit in the industry.

In Focus: Iceland’s Dairy Industry

Dairy consumption in Iceland is 60% higher than the European average, according to figures from MS Iceland Dairies. With inflation and rising food prices across the board, the increase in the cost of dairy products is felt strongly by local consumers.

The CEO of MS Iceland Dairies, Pálmi Vilhjálmsson, says that the company’s operational surplus is less than 1% of the company’s gross income. He stated that profits were small in the industry and that equipment costs were high relative to the production of other food products, and that rising prices of grain, fertiliser, electricity, and oil affected dairy prices.

Rafn Bergsson of the Icelandic Farmers Association says cow farmers have absorbed many of these rising costs and that further price hikes would be needed to improve their income and working conditions. Dairy prices are set by a government committee, and Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries Svandís Svavarsdóttir says there is reason to review that system, which may be out of date. “If neither consumers nor farmers benefit from the arrangement, where does the profit lie?” Svandís stated. She called on intermediaries to take responsibility for the situation instead of taking advantage of monopolies to raise prices for consumers.

Cost of Milk and Dairy Products Increases

icelandic cows

The Agricultural Pricing Committee has decided to increase the minimum price that milk can be bought from dairy farmers, alongside the wholesale price of milk and dairy products. The price hikes can be traced to cost increases in the production and processing of milk, the governments website notes.

Price hikes traced to cost increases in production and processing of dairy

In an announcement on the government’s website yesterday, the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries announced that the Agricultural Pricing Committee – which sets the price at which milk is bought from dairy farmers – had decided to raise the minimum price of milk alongside the wholesale prices of milk and dairy products.

As noted in the announcement, the following price change came into effect on April 1, 2023: “Minimum price for category 1 (i.e. 1.fl) milk to farmers increases by 4.33%, from ISK 119.77 per litre [$0.88/€0.80] to ISK 124.96 per litre [$0.91/€0.83].

Additionally, the following price change will take effect on April 12, 2023: “The wholesale price of milk and dairy products set by the committee will generally increase by 3.60%.”

The announcement traces the decision to increase prices to cost increases in the production and processing of milk; since the last price determination in December 2022, the expense items within the operational costs of dairy farms have increased by 4.33%. During the same period, the processing and distribution costs of agricultural processing plants have increased by 2.74%, which serves as the basis for the increase in wholesale prices, as well as the increase in product prices.

Cost of Dairy to Increase in New Year

According to a recent statement by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Fisheries, the average cost of dairy products throughout Iceland is set to increase in the coming year.

As of January 2023, the wholesale price of dairy and dairy products in Iceland will increase by 3.5%.

The cost increase, which sets the price at which milk is bought from dairy farmers, is in response to increases in production costs since the price was last assessed in September of this year.

According to the Ministry, processing and distribution costs have risen by 5.06% in the last year, in addition to a 2.38% increase in livestock fees. Collective agreements have also caused recent increases to the cost of labour, in addition to the generally high inflation currently affecting the Icelandic economy.

Cream of the Crop

 Row after row of steep but flat-topped mountains, interspersed with deep fjords. There’s barely enough land in between to make up a coastline, let alone farmland. But on the green patches between the cliffs and the waves, there are still more than a handful of farms dotting the landscape. The Westfjords have always been isolated, but after World War II, when the rest of Iceland experienced a period of sped-up industrialisation, the Westfjords were left behind. Once-thriving communities were slowly drained of life when the young people moved south, and a series of economic setbacks made life difficult for the ones that remained. and new generations still find ways of making it work. 

CREAM OF THE CROP
CREAM OF THE CROP

“I could drive
this road with my eyes closed,
I know it so well.”

6.40 am 

Rauðsdalur 

Mikkjall Agnar Þórsson Davidssen’s alarm goes off. It’s not light yet in the Westfjords but for farmers, this isn’t unusual. Mikki isn’t getting up to milk the cows or feed the sheep but to get his stepdaughter ready for school. At precisely 7.15, the school bus arrives. Rauðsdalur farm is its first stop on the way to bring the preschool and elementary school-aged kids to get their education in Patreksfjörður, the town on the other side of the mountains. 

Íris celebrated her tenth birthday the day before. She’s still waiting on her present, set to arrive any day now by mail from Reykjavík. The post arrives twice a week but the present is yet to turn up. Mikki and Íris are up but her mother Svanhildur is still sleeping, and so is six-month-old Ástey Kolbrún. An online sleep specialist whose aid her parents had requested insists that Ástey be woken up. With bated breath, her parents comply and Ástey rewards them with a smile. They have a whole day to brace themselves for the bedtime-inspired screaming set to happen later. 

Svanhildur and Mikki met in 2019 in Reykjavík. Mikki had lived in Norway for a few years before that, in the same region as the first Norse settler to intentionally sail to Iceland, Raven Flóki. Unlike Flóki, however, he’d never even been to the Westfjords. A couple of years later and he’s building himself a house there. 

The couple bought a prefab house and were hoping to have it ready last summer. Enter Ástey. Svanhildur got pregnant, delaying their plans for a while. They did manage to get the walls up, so all that remains is indoor work. While Mikki is new to the area, Svanhildur is born and bred. She grew up in Rauðsdalur with her parents and two brothers, moving away, like so many of the local youth to go to school, not planning on moving back. “We’d still visit every chance we got,” Mikki notes. “Summer or winter. I could drive this road with my eyes closed, I know it so well.” 

Mikki’s father-in-law drives the milk tanker. He’s been doing it for decades. He’s happy to have some help. Mikki’s taking half the shifts lately. Completely unrelated, his father-in-law is now spending a couple of weeks in the Canary Islands. Alongside the milk truck gig, Svanhildur’s parents run the farm, taking care of their cattle and sheep. They also dabble in tourism, running a guesthouse and campsite. Someone on the next farm over used to take half the shifts on the milk tanker. When he quit, there was an opening for Mikki. “We spent a lot of time here but I needed something more to do than just helping out at the farm.” Mikki and Svanhildur moved west in the spring of 2021, during the lambing season. Despite being raised in a rural area, Mikki says it takes a few years to get to know the ins and outs of dairy farming in the Westfjords. He’s from the south. 

 

Lambavatn

Just before nine, Mikki starts the truck. Twice a week, he collects the milk from the farms along the coast of Breiðafjörður and takes them all the way up to Ísafjörður. He starts at the most remote farm in his area, Lambavatn. To get there, he drives two mountain roads, first over Kleifaheiði heath, under the careful watch of Kleifabúinn, a primitive-looking statue created from excess stone by road workers in the 1940s. In the winter, the Kleifaheiði road can be treacherous, even though it’s cleared once a day to  make sure traffic can flow to and from Patreksfjörður. 

The second road takes you to the remote farming community of Rauðasandur, and it’s more than treacherous. It’s a long and winding gravel road, steep and rough, zigzagging up and down sharp cliffs. In summer, the view over the russet sand that gives the region its name is breathtaking. In winter, with strong winds and ice on the road, it can also take your breath away for all the wrong reasons. The road to Rauðasandur is among the most challenging in the region but there are others that can still be plenty bad when winter sets in. The roads have been slowly improving for the past couple of decades. There are fewer gravel roads. More bridges and shorter routes between towns. But progress is slow. Roads are how kids get to school and how food gets to farms. How products get from factories and tourists get to guesthouses. And how sick people, pregnant people, and people who’ve had accidents get to hospitals. 

It’s still dark when Mikki takes off and there aren’t many other cars on the road. A tiny sliver of light comes from the east. It’s mid-November but it’s still 8°C out and not a snowflake in sight, unusual for this time of year. 

On the road across Dynjandisheiði (try saying that five times fast while trying to keep a truck on an icy road), Mikki regales me with stories of thick layers of ice on the road making it hopeless to brake, and how they could sometimes drive on the edge of the road to keep safe. He also tells me of piles of snow higher than the top of the truck, and how he once had to put chains on the wheels of the truck four times in one day to pass safely over mountain roads. Putting the chains on takes half an hour out in the cold and he has to get them off again as soon as he gets down. He mentions tourists scared shitless who either won’t budge to make room for the truck on the road or give so much way that they almost drive off the road. He’s seen it all. Despite all his adventures crossing the iconic Westfjord mountains, his least favourite stretch of road is driving through the long tunnel connecting the southern and the northern Westfjords. Driving through the calm dark of the tunnels can make you drowsy.

The local milk truck drving across the winding roads of the Westfjords

10.00 am

It takes us less than an hour to get to Rauðasandur but in that time, Mikki’s told me who’s who in every farm along the way and who will greet us when we arrive. As promised, Þorsteinn á Lambavatni meets us in the milkhouse. As Mikki tests the quality of the milk before transferring it to the tank, Þorsteinn explains the watercolour drawing of the milking equipment with directions in English. They have foreign workers at the farm and one of them left the work of art to explain things to the next arrivals. As I admire the picture, Þorsteinn drags me into the cowshed where two further paintings adorn the steel doors keeping the cows away from the winter hay in the barn. Lambavatn may be isolated, at the end of the road, nothing ahead but the north Atlantic, but there’s always people attracted to exactly that. We don’t dawdle too long at Lambavatn. It’s the only dairy farm left in the area so it’s already out of the way. The milk tanker is its lifeline, the biweekly visit from Mikki or his father-in-law a prerequisite for people living there. 

In Barðaströnd, the farms are closer. The next stop is Breiðalækur, where Elín and Kristján are outside working on the greenhouse. Kristján is the third generations of farmers at Breiðalækur, a relatively young farm built in the mid-20th century. Despite only being a few decades old, the farm consists of several buildings and Kristján, a carpenter by trade, has done his part adding to it. There’s the old farmhouse, the new farmhouse sporting a two-year-old annex adding a new apartment for Elín and him. Then there’s the new dairy barn and the old dairy barn, currently in the process of being converted into a greenhouse. “The roof needed fixing,” Elín told me. “So we removed it to make a new one that lets the sun in.” Then there’s the workshop, which Elín has used to tan sheepskin, a garage for the farm equipment and their boat in the winter, and the latest addition under construction – a building to house their new ice-cream-making machinery. 

Their youngest isn’t old enough for school but their six-year-old takes the bus to Patreksfjörður in the morning to go to school. When Elín moved to the farm ten years ago, there was only one school-aged kid left in the region so they closed the local elementary school. Now, there are 14 children below the age of 16 but the school is yet to reopen.

Hagi

Hagi is the next farm over and just like Mikki predicted, there’s no one to greet us in the milkhouse. According to Mikki, “the farmers have decided to stop dairy production when they turn 60 but continue to live on the farm. The milk in the tank is just half of what it once was. They’re gradually downsizing.”

 

Hvammur

Hvammur is next, the largest dairy farm in the area, and Mikki pumps as much milk in his tanker as he did in the first three combined. There’s no one there to greet us. 

 

12.30 pm

Rauðsdalur

We drive up to Rauðsdalur again. Mikki’s family and the in-laws produce dairy, gather it from the surrounding farms, transport it to the dairy in Ísafjörður and drive the finished product back to the area. The dogs greet us with a cheerful bark and Mikki enquires about his daughter’s sleep schedule. All is according to plan. 

There are three dogs in total. The largest one is an Australian sheepdog who moves like an octogenarian after he broke his leg last fall. It takes a while to get used to but we go by the same name: this is Golíat, aka Golli. Pjakkur is a gregarious mutt, constantly seeking attention and willing to place his head in the lap of a perfect stranger in the hope of a scratch behind the ears. The third is more cautious, the namesake of Sveinn Skotti, the son of Iceland’s most famous serial killer, Axlar-Björn. Sveinn took after his father and was finally hanged in the cliffs jutting out into the sea below the farm. This was centuries ago, but I’m still keeping my eye on the dog. 

A quick cup of coffee and we’re off again. This time, we’re taking the milk to Ísafjörður. In Vatnsfjörður, the next town over, we stop and Mikki picks up a Styrofoam box that’s waiting for his arrival. It’s arctic char from the fish farm in Vatnsfjörður to be delivered to the fishmonger in Ísafjörður. Out here, everyone does their part. The tanker carries 5,950 litres of milk on its way to Arna creamery in Bolungarvík. Another milk tanker covers the northern part of the Westfjords bringing in a similar amount twice a week. That’s still not enough and Arna has to buy milk from other parts of the country as well. 

CREAM OF THE CROP

“Roads are how kids get to school and how food gets to farms. How products get from factories and tourists get to guesthouses. And how sick people, pregnant people, and people who’ve had accidents get to hospitals.”

CREAM OF THE CROP

A quick cup of
coffee and we’re
off again.

3.00 pm

Ísafjörður

We arrive in Ísafjörður. There is ongoing roadwork in Dynjandisheiði, the road has already gotten a lot better but there’s more to come. The tunnel by Dýrafjörður has shortened the drive by a lot and on an unusually warm fall day without snow, we don’t run into any issues. “By now, it’s even better to take this road in snow during the winter rather than on a sunny day in the summer. Ever since the tunnel opened the tourist traffic has increased a lot and there are a lot of people on the road that don’t have any experience driving Icelandic country roads.” Mikki’s working so he can’t pick up hitch hikers. There aren’t that many any way. But last year, he took pity on a cyclist on their way up Dynjandisheiði during a storm and drove them to safety. Everyone does their part. 

MS Iceland Dairies has an outpost in Ísafjörður and Mikki stops there for a quality control check on the milk. Everything is as it should be, so we continue out to Bolungarvík where the milk is pumped into Arna’s tankards to become butter, cream, skyr, or cheese. On the way back, we drop the Styrofoam box of char to the fishmonger and Mikki gets a bag of dried fish as a thank you. “I love the stuff, but I can’t eat it at home as the wife has a fish allergy.”

The day is not done yet. The milk tanker has to be thoroughly cleaned in an hour-long process. We get dinner. Mikki is pretty set in his ways but he’s willing to try a kebab in the recently opened kebab shop in an Ísafjörður shopping complex. Before we take off, another truck drives up to the tanker, a delivery from Reykjavík. Pallet after pallet of milk, butter, cheese, yoghurt, skyr and other dairy products is transferred to Mikki’s car for the people back home. He’ll deliver the goods tomorrow. We stop by the grocery. 

On the way back, it’s dark again. The floodlights on the top of the car come in handy. I even see a field mouse crossing the road. I didn’t ask why.

 

Rauðsdalur

It’s half past eight when we get back to Rauðsdalur. We go straight to the barn where Svanhvít is feeding the cows. Ástey is sleeping. 

CREAM OF THE CROP

Widespread Iodine Deficiency as Diets Change with Times

Fish Shop Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir

Icelanders have stopped consuming the large quantities of fish and milk that they used to, leading to widespread iodine deficiencies. RÚV reports that the situation has nutritionists concerned, as iodine deficiencies in pregnant people can lead to developmental delays in children.

Both fish and dairy are integral sources of iodine for people in industrialized countries. Nutritionists stress the importance of iodine intake during pregnancy, as children who do not receive enough iodine during this time tend to score low on developmental scales. In some countries, iodine-fortified salt is used in the production of baked goods as a way of introducing iodine into a wider diet when fish and milk consumption is low. This is an option that is currently under consideration in Iceland, but could create its own problems. If iodine was introduced into baked goods and breads, for instance, young children would be at risk of ingesting too much.

A brief history of the modern Icelandic diet

The typical Icelandic diet was first examined in 1939, when Professor Júlíus Sigurjónsson concluded that where people lived naturally had a significant effect on what they consumed. At the time, Júlíus found that Icelanders who lived close to the sea tended to eat a great deal of fish, while those who lived inland tended to drink large quantities of milk.

No further studies on the Icelandic diet were conducted until just over half a century later, in 1990. By that point, Icelanders’ lifestyle had undergone incredible change and their diets attested to that. Nearly all of the energy Icelanders consumed in the 90s came from protein and fat, with the average Icelander consuming roughly half a kilo [2.2 lbs] of dairy and four slices of bread a day. Water was only the fourth most-consumed beverage in the country, after coffee (an average of four cups a day), milk, and sugary soft drinks. Cholesterol was high and coronary artery disease was common. But at the same time, Icelanders ate the most fish of any nation in Europe, proportionally speaking.

2002 – 2010

A study in 2002 revealed more dramatic dietary shifts. By that point, fish, milk, and potatoes had been replaced by vegetables, cereal, and pasta in the diet of most Icelanders. The nation had also developed a taste for pork and chicken, neither of which had been consumed in great quantity in the past. Young boys no longer drank half a litre soda every day, but a full litre.

By 2010, however, it seemed Icelandic dietary habits were moving in the right direction. People were eating more fruit, vegetables, unprocessed bread and fish oil. Protein drinks became a major source of protein. Sugary soda consumption went down, although consumption of sugar-free soda remained high. Milk consumption went down.

2019 – 2021

The most recent survey, conducted over the years 2019 – 2021, found that fruit consumption is down among Icelanders, while consumption of saturated fat is on the rise. The Directorate of Health advises that people should only get a maximum of 10% of their energy from saturated fat, but according to this study, only 2% of Icelanders abide by that advice. Wholegrain bread has only recently become widely available in the country. Nutritionists say that Icelanders now have the opportunity to increase their consumption of not only whole grains, but also beans, nuts, and seeds. Low fibre intake is a broad cause for concern.

“If we look at what is causing most premature deaths around the world, a lack of fibre is one of the things that makes the biggest difference,” remarked Jóhanna Eyrún Torfadóttir, a nutritionist with the Directorate of Health. “Lack of fibre is causing premature death.” If the pattern of high consumption of saturated fat, low consumption of fibre continues, says Jóhanna Eyrún, there will be an increased risk for cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes: “[O]ur biggest, long-term illnesses that are causing the most deaths.”

Icelandic diets are more diverse than ever

Today, Icelandic diets are far more diverse than they were in the past. More Icelanders are vegans and vegetarians, and more people are on low-carb and other special diets. This has made it difficult for the Directorate of Health to issue broad nutritional advisories like it once did.

In general, however, the Directorate has simple advice: Each a varied diet of moderate portions. People are advised to eat lots of vegetables and fruits, more whole than processed grains, fish two to three times a week, and meat in moderation. Low-fat dairy products and soft fats are preferable over saturated fats. Salt and sugar should be consumed in moderation and vitamin D is important.

In Focus: Iceland’s Dairy Industry

There is a famous cow in Norse mythology named Auðhumla. According to myth, she played a key role in the creation of the world – milk from her udders fed the first giants and she freed the first god, Búri, by licking on a salt block. Iceland’s first settlers not only drank milk, they used […]

This content is only visible under subscription. Subscribe here or log in.

Continue reading

Icelandic Skyr Cheaper Abroad Than in Iceland

Ísey brand skyr is cheaper in grocery stores in Finland and Britain than it is in Iceland, Vísir reports. But although some Icelandic consumers are crying foul, the Icelandic dairy cooperative MS Dairies says that there are several perfectly good reasons for this price discrepancy, not least that skyr sold abroad is not actually made in Iceland, but rather produced at a lower cost in Jutland, Denmark and then exported to other countries.

“I can buy Ísey skyr in Finland for 40% cheaper”

Ísey skyr is exported widely and is available throughout Europe, as well as in the United States and Japan. A number of frustrated Icelanders have shared photos on social media of cheaper Ísey shelf prices in other countries.

“Is there any reason that it’s cheaper to buy Icelandic skyr in England than in Iceland?” asked lawyer María Rún Bjarnadóttir in a Facebook post this spring showing 170 grams [5.9 ounces] of skyr for sale at 99 pence—the equivalent of ISK 150 [$1.20; €1.09]. “I bought Rioja red wine for £5 at the same time. But of course we have to have restrictions on competition among dairy products and ban the sale of alcohol in grocery stores in Iceland. Of course.”

Author Þórdís Gísladóttir made a similar observation in Finland earlier this month. “I can buy Ísey skyr in Finland for 40% cheaper than in Iceland,” she tweeted. At €0.99, skyr sold in Finnish grocery stores would come out to roughly ISK 137 [$1.09].

By comparison, the same size tub of skyr sold in Icelandic grocery stores goes for ISK 175 [$1.40; €1.27] at Bónus, ISK 178 [$1.43; €1.29] at Krónan, and ISK 189 [$1.51; €1.37] at Nettó.

Skyr sold abroad “not connected to Icelandic agriculture”

When price comparing, however, Sunna Gunnars Marteinsdóttir, Communications Director for MS Dairies, urges Icelanders to keep in mind that MS sells its products wholesale and that food prices are determined by the free market in Iceland and elsewhere.

Moreover, she said, the skyr sold in the UK and Finland is produced in Denmark and as such is “not connected to Icelandic agriculture” as she said is made out in the aforementioned social media posts.

Sunna also said that although there are price discrepancies, Ísey skyr sold in Iceland and abroad is still all in the same general price range. As an example, she noted that skyr sold in Finland is priced anywhere from ISK 136 [$1.09; €0.98] to ISK 275 [$2.20; €1.99], depending on what kind is purchased. Similarly, she said, skyr sold in Iceland ranges from ISK 125 [$1.00; €0.91] to ISK 309 [$2.48; €2.24] in price.

She also noted that the Icelandic dairy industry is a small one, and necessarily less efficient than larger operations abroad. MS Dairies has an annual turnover of ISK 28 billion [$224 million; €203 million], as compared to other (unspecified) producers that have a turnover equivalent to ISK 500 – 2,000 billion [$4.10 billion – $16.43 billion; €3.62 billion – €16.04 billion].

Other factors to consider

The SA Confederation of Icelandic Enterprise also weighed in, saying that other factors need to be taken into account when making price comparisons. Purchasing power makes a big difference, SA argued, as well as how long Icelanders have to work to pay for monthly groceries.

“According to information from OECD [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development], average hourly pay after income tax was 55% higher in Iceland than in Finland and the prices of food and beverages were 30% higher according to information from the EU Statistics Office,” read an SA assessment from the beginning of the year. The assessment concludes that purchasing power in Iceland is 20% higher than it is in Finland.

Based on these figures, it took Icelanders an average of eight hours to earn enough to cover their monthly food costs, versus the 9.5 hours it took Finnish people to buy the same amount of food.

Milk Consumption on the Decline

Icelanders’ milk consumption has declined in recent years. Since 2010, total sales of “drinking milk” have gone down by 25%, or 7.9 million litres. The category “drinking milk” nýmjólk (whole milk), léttmjólk (low-fat milk), undanrenna (skim milk), and fjörmjólk (a vitamin-enriched blend of low-fat and skim milk) and is meant to differentiate between milk and other dairy products.

In 2018, 23.8 million litres of milk were sold, which is down 2.8% from the previous year. All combined, dairy companies that are part of the Association of Dairy Producers (SAM) sold 2.2% less milk between 2017 and 2018. The association reports a decline in the sales of all dairy products except cream and powdered milk.

While milk sales have decreased, however, sales of dairy products such as cream, powdered milk, and spreads have increased considerably since 2010. Cream sales have gone up the most, or around 30.4% since 2010 (7.1% just from last year).

Skyr sales have also fallen last year, with 169 fewer tons sold. Additionally, 102 fewer tons of cheese were sold in 2018.

Even as milk sales are down, however, people in the dairy industry are being encouraged to innovate. In 2017, the dairy cooperative Auðhumla gave three grants for the development of entrepreneurial projects that use milk as a key ingredient. One of the grants was ISK 3 million [$24,556; € 22,056] for innovative uses of whey that is a byproduct of milk production. Another ISK 3 million was given for the development of Jökla, a milk-based liquor that would be the first of its kind to be produced with Icelandic milk. The third grant went to a pilot project that seeks to develop health products from colostrum.

Dairy Prices Increase

icelandic cows

The price of wholesale milk and dairy products was raised 4.86% on September 1, RÚV reports. The price increase was put into effect by the Livestock Pricing Committee appointed by the Ministry of Industry and Innovation.

Increasing the price of wholesale dairy will, of course, affect prices at the consumer level. The price of butter, for instance, will go up by 15%. Mbl.is notes that the price for a liter of milk will increase by 4.8% (6 krónur), bringing it to ISK 132 ($1.23/€1.06) per litre.

The increase will undoubtedly be welcomed by dairy farmers, who will now be able to sell milk at a minimum increase of 3.52%. This increases their sale price from a minimum of ISK 87.40 to ISK 90.48.

The last price change to dairy products was made on January 1, 2017 as a result of rising milk production and processing costs. Since then, it’s been calculated that the dairy farmer’s production and distribution costs have increased by 7.14%.

The price increase was opposed by a representative of the Minister of Social Affairs and Equality but was unanimously approved by the remaining five members of the pricing committee.