According to the non-profit consuemr protection association Codacons (Coordinamento delle associazioni per la difesa dell’ambiente e dei diritti degli utenti e dei consumatori), a litre of UHT milk in Italy costs at least 19% more than last year, and already in September Granarolo and Lactalis warned of a possible price increase to €2 per litre by the end of 2022. The alarm is so great that the consumer protection association has filed a complaint accusing the industry of speculation.
The reasons for the price increase vary, however, and a look at data from the agricultural financial services provider Ismea shows that dairy is one of the sectors most affected by inflation: In nine months, the cost of electricity has risen by 275%, gas by 286% and maize for livestock feed by 41%. The Coldiretti agricultural association alerts that almost one in ten cowsheds (9%) are at risk of closure due to high costs.
Coldiretti recalls the recently announced closure of the Latte Trento cheese dairy and the closure of the Pinzolo dairy. “What is causing problems for Italian farmers is an explosion in production costs by an average of 60 per cent,” the association adds. The situation is particularly dramatic in the mountain barns, Coldiretti points out, where high energy costs are forcing farms to close and slaughter animals, leading to an estimated 15 per cent drop in milk production. “The entire Italian dairy heritage, with 580 milk specialities, including 55 PDOs (controlled designation of origin) and 525 typical cheeses, is in danger,” the association concludes.
Photo: Petr Kratochvil