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Cattle farmers complain against milk powder competition


A large number of dairy farmers and producers have expressed resentment over competition from milk powder traders which provides for the dairy and cheese processing plants in Bekaa and other governorates, Al Mustaqbal reported yesterday. Cattle and dairy farmers have revealed an upsurge recently in the smuggling or import of milk powder as a result of an increase in demand for similar made-in-Lebanon products from some Arab countries. On the subject, Khalil. R, who keeps a dairy farm in Central Bekaa, pointed out that owners of dairy processing factories mix fresh cow’s milk with big doses of milk powder to boost their profits. The current price of one kg of fresh milk varies between LBP 700 to 900 against LBP 300 for one kg of milk powder, meaning that owners of factories tend to increase their proceeds illegally by 40%. Mohamad Uthman, a grieving farmer, warned of an imminent crisis before winter. Milk factory owners, he said, seek to significantly reduce the quantities of the fresh milk they receive from dairy farmers by adding milk powder in cheese making and dairy processing. Owners of factories, who categorically deny the accusation, stress their complete commitment to production of first rate dairy goods well reputed among the Lebanese, Arab and foreign consumers. The present price, they claimed, is the best Lebanese dairy farmers can get, and so are the supplied quantities, noting that production is subject to supply and demand like any other industry or sector. (Al Mustaqbal, September 5, 2017)

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