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Italy fines Lactalis for violating dairy code regulations

Italy fines Lactalis for violating dairy code regulations Lactalis Food and Beverage Business

In Italy, Lactalis, a France-headquartered dairy group, has been fined for “unfair” trading practices following a complaint from Coldiretti, the country’s main farmers’ association. The Central Inspectorate of Quality Protection and Fraud Repression imposed a €74,145 ($80,446) fine on Lactalis’ local subsidiary company Italatte for alleged “unfair practices” related to the price paid to farmers for their milk supply. Lactalis has stated that it will appeal any sanctions.

The dispute arose when Lactalis was accused of unilaterally modifying contracts with milk suppliers, leading to decreased prices for farmers. Coldiretti claimed that the company introduced a new index linked to European milk prices without agreement, disadvantaging Italian producers.

Giovanni Pomella, CEO of Lactalis in Italy, emphasized the importance of creating a sustainable milk-price model that protects the entire supply chain. Coldiretti president Ettore Prandini called for Lactalis to pay the price difference to affected farmers and comply with laws against unfair practices.

Despite these challenges, Lactalis remains a significant player in Italy’s dairy market, with investments totaling €248 million over the past five years and a strong presence in the sector. The company has faced legal issues in other countries, including Australia and France, relating to breaches of industry codes and governance.

In response to recent investigations in France, Lactalis maintained that the searches were part of a procedure concerning past events and reaffirmed its commitment to cooperation with authorities. The company’s proactive stance on sustainability and efficiency projects reflects its ongoing efforts to support suppliers and drive positive change in the industry.

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