No increase in Nestle milk powder prices for three months
Nestle' Lanka PLC will not increase its milk powder prices for three
months according to an agreement reached with the Consumer Affairs
Authority to keep milk food prices stable at a time when global food
prices are on the rise.
Managing Director Nestle Lanka PLC, Stuart Young addresses the
Pic by Wimal Karunathilake
Managing Director, Nestle' Lanka PLC, Stuart Young said Nestle is not
interested in increasing prices but with the global food crisis
worsening price stability is not practical.
"The global demand for food has increased and many countries are in
the grip of a severe food shortage.
The world is heading towards inflation due to the food crisis.A
coherent policy is essential to develop food resources in the country",
The era of cheap food is over and those who depend on imports will
now have to spend enormously due to the shift from grain production to
bio fuel in many countries. The adverse weather conditions and the
consumption boom in India, China and Russia have added to the food
crisis which is now posing a potential threat to poorer countries.
Argentina, Brazil and USA have converted grain crop lands to
manufacture cheap ethanol which is becoming popular today.
He said Sri Lanka should be self-sufficient in food but due to the
lack of a coherent policy it is not possible. Many organisations took
steps to develop the livestock industry but due to the inconsistent
policy the country has not achieved much progress.
The annual milk requirement in the country is around 900 million
litres while production is 200 million litres. The country spends
heavily to import milk food to meet the shortfall.
Sri Lankan milch cows do not yield well due to the climate and the
poor feeding system. Cows have to look for food and as a result they
lose a lot of energy. In New Zealand cows are fed and they have a better
vield", he said.
Developing milk food in the country is not an easy task.
It needs to be done in collaboration with the private sector. Nestle
has been supporting the government to increase milk production and
contribute to the rural economy", Young said.
Nestle' launched a campaign to enable people to win a free supply of
milk powder for six months as a tribute to mothers. Fifty families will
be selected a week.
Assistant Vice President, Nestle' Lanka PLC, Asoka Bandara said the
campaign was launched as a relief program due to the steep rise in milk
food prices in the world market.
Nestle' has been supporting the livestock sector in the country and
today it is the major milk collector in the country. By collecting 35
million litres from 12,000 farmers, the company contributed Rs. 800
million to the rural economy last year. The company has 15 chilling
centres, 500 collecting points and over 550 direct suppliers.