Sunday, December 9, 2007

Breathtaking "scandal" of dairy product prices

I blogged in September about "disturbing claims about UK dairy product prices". Now, Sainsbury and Asda, amongst others, "have agreed to pay the Treasury near-record fines of more than £116 million after they fixed the price of milk, cheese and butter in a scandal estimated to have cost consumers about £270m."

It is one of those stories where, if you are not careful, you blink and miss it. So it is worth pondering on it. These are basic commodity foods. The Office of Fair Trading "has reported that customers were being charged 15p extra for a quarter-pound of butter, the same for half-pound of cheese and 3p extra for a pint of milk".

Those are actually huge numbers. About 15% on the price of butter and cheese and 10% on milk.

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