Dairy producers buy out dirt-cheap Estonian milk

  • 2004-10-27
  • From wire reports
TALLINN - Finnish dairy producers in Jyvaskyla have expressed outrage that shops are selling Estonian milk at rock-bottom rates to attract customers, the daily Eesti Paevaleht reported on Oct. 21.

Due to competition among the city's supermarkets, Euroshopper, an Estonian-produced brand of milk, was put on sale at an unbelievable 0.01 euro per liter in September, sparking anger among local milk producers. The single restriction was that one person could only buy eight packages of milk at a time.

Finnish dairy producers marched into Jyvaskyla shops and bought out all the milk within one hour, the Finnish newspaper Keskisuomalainen reported. "We'd rather give this milk to calves than allow such a disgrace to continue," the Finnish dairy workers were quoted as saying.

Finally, on Oct. 19 a couple of hundred producers from half a dozen counties arrived in Jyvaskyla to participate in the protests, which started at the Seppala Citymarket. Their aim was to continue buying-out the cheap milk until stores canceled the sale.

Protesters were mildly successful, having bought out all the milk produced in Estonia within 30 minutes and all local milk within 45 minutes.

Jaanus Vihand, manager of the Rakvere Piim dairy that produces Euroshopper milk for the Finnish market, said the dairy does not sell its exports to Finland below the regular sale price. "We are not selling milk there at some crazy low price. Our aim is to earn money," he said, adding that Finnish producers' anger arises from their reluctance to accept the opening of European boundaries.