The Malta Independent 24 January 2022, Monday

Updated: Prices on Benna dairy products increase for the New Year

Semira Abbas Shalan Thursday, 13 January 2022, 09:26 Last update: about 10 days ago

Since the first week of the New Year, Benna, (Malta Dairy Products Ltd.) has increased its prices on several of their dairy products.

Confirmed by local grocery stores and supermarkets, Benna has provided them with a new list of prices at which their dairy products will be now sold.

The increases are significant, with the only major product not affected by the prices rises being most types of milk.

Other products, such as cream and mozzarella saw increases of between 40c and 50c, while ġbejniet increased by €2.60 per kilogram.

The Malta Independent sent questions to KPH Group, the leading driver of Maltese milk production, a cooperative owned by the Dairy Farmers in Malta and Gozo on the reasons for the price increases. This newsroom asked for the reason why prices have been raised, as well as if these prices are a temporary change or if they are permanently fixed prices.

Benna prices had already seen an increase back in 2019, with the company giving the reason that the inflation of prices had to be done to continue to provide quality products for the consumer and for operations to continue to run feasibly. The company’s statement also read that the cost of cow feed, as well as other operational expenses had continued to increase at the time.

Benna was also asked for the reason why customers have not been informed of this surge in prices through advertisements or a statement, as local shops have confirmed that the new prices were introduced at the beginning of January of this year, yet no public mention of it was issued by the company.

In response, MDP told this newsroom that it "strives to provide the best fresh milk products at the most affordable price to the consumer in Malta and Gozo. The Company has managed to keep the prices of its fresh milk products stable over recent months, during which the costs of feeds on the international markets, as well as other operational, logistical and raw material costs have significantly increased. As of the 1st January 2022, MDP has adjusted the prices of some of its products."

"This decision has been taken after the Company has absorbed the increase in costs for a number of months. Despite this, with responsibility, it was decided that MDP will continue to absorb such additional costs related to its fresh white milk. The price of fresh white milk has not been increased considering that such a product is an essential consumed daily by Maltese and Gozitan families. The adjustment in price was necessary to sustain the local dairy industry, for which many work hard and strive to conserve.

"This adjustment will also continue to support farmers and their families who cultivate animal feed on vast areas of arable land in Malta and Gozo, and the workers involved in its production. Despite the adjustment, MDP will continue to offer its consumers with the full range of Benna quality fresh milk products, produced to EU standards which are superior in taste, nutritional value and quality.

"MDP is confident that customers will understand how important it is to continue sustaining the local fresh produce sectors, in order to maintain the supply of fresh milk and fresh milk products. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers for their continuous loyalty towards the brand," the company said.

Customers also told this newsroom of their efforts to get in touch with the company's customer care.  They were however told to send an email, which subsequently remained unanswered.

The increases come at a time when the government is facing questions and criticism on how it is going to handle inflation on the prices of certain basic needs such as, amongst others, foodstuffs.

Inflation in Malta stood at 2.4% in the month of November last year – much higher than previous months, but still significantly lower than other European countries, largely due to fixed prices on energy and gas.

The price changes are as follows:

An increase of 10c on flavoured milk from €0.70 to €0.80

An increase of 15c on Limited Edition milk from €0.75 to €0.90

An increase of 40c on 250ml fresh cream from €0.70 to €1.10

An increase of 53c on 500ml fresh cream from €1.37 to €1.90

An increase of between 7c and 10c on Benna yoghurts

An increase of 15c on fresh ġbejniet from €0.75 to €0.90

An increase of 20c on 125gm fresh mozzarella from €1.30 to €1.50

An increase of 45c on 150gm fresh mozzarella from €1.45 to €1.80

An increase of 45c on 250gm ricotta from €1.30 to €1.75

An increase of 55c on 250gm pizza mozzarella from €1.80 to €2.35

An increase of 31c on butter from €2.52 to €2.85

An increase of €1.98 on 1kg pizza mozzarella from €6.92 to €8.90

An increase of €2.60 per kg on seasoned and unseasoned ġbejniet from €9.40 to €12.00

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