Mass Inspections to Identify Causes of High Food Prices in Bulgaria

Business | August 1, 2012, Wednesday // 17:26|  views

Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov announced the planned joint inspections after a meeting with livestock breeders, representatives of the meat and dairy processing industries, and major retail chains. Photo by BGNES

The State Agency for National Security (DANS), the Economic Police Directorate and the National Revenue Agency (NRA) will conduct joint inspections of large-scale retail chains and meat and dairy processors.

This was announced after a Wednesday meeting of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and Agriculture Minister Miroslav Naydenov with livestock breeders, representatives of the meat and dairy processing industries, and major retail chains.

"First we need to figure out why some BGN 200 M are channeled into the livestock sector each year and purchase prices of milk are dropping and yet consumers are not buying the end products at lower prices," Naydenov stated.

He insisted that there were distortions somewhere along the producer-processor-trader chain.

The Agriculture Minister said that a new meeting would be held in 2 weeks' time to present the results of the inspections.

Naydenov explained that the authorities would examine the companies' financial flows and taxpaying behavior to make sure that no part of the production process belonged to the grey sector.

In the course of Wednesday meeting, none of the participants was willing to admit which link of the chain added the biggest markup to meat and dairy products.

Livestock breeders noted that they were operating at a loss, saying that the price of a liter of cow milk was BGN 0.50, one kilogram of cheese took seven liters of milk to make, and the product had a price tag of BGN 8-16 in stores.

Dairy processors also argued that they were registering losses and accused chains of stores of exerting pressure on purchase prices.

The traders also said that they were running up loss and laid the blame on the processing industries.

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Tags: retail chain, meat and milk processing factories, livestock farmers, Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, National Revenue Agency, economic police, State Agency for National Security, DANS, NRA


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