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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Milk price hikes leave many feeling sour

By Tang Zhihao (China Daily)

10:31, March 02, 2012

SHANGHAI - Many Shanghai consumers have become used to seeing frequent increases in food and beverage prices.

But when Bright Dairy & Food Co Ltd announced in February that it would raise the price of milk that it delivers to homes, the public reacted to the news as if it had opened an old wound.

According to reports, Bright Dairy accounts for 80 percent of the fresh milk products sold in Shanghai. Its products are also popular in many neighboring cities and townships in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces.

"When a Bright Dairy milkman told me in mid February that, starting on March 1, there would be a new round of price hikes on the milk that's delivered to my home, the first thing that came to my mind was 'What? Milk-price increases again? In less than three months?'," said Zhang Lan, a 30-year-old white-collar worker in Shanghai, who makes about 10,000 yuan ($1,600) a month.

Bright Dairy's latest price increase marks the second time the cost of the company's home-delivered products has risen since December. The prices on the products it sells in supermarkets have meanwhile remained stable.

In July, Zhang ordered 200 milliliters of a premium milk product from Bright Dairy for home delivery. The product then cost 3.7 yuan. By December, it was 3.8 yuan and it is now 3.9 yuan.

Zhang said he will now have to pay an additional 73 yuan a year to buy the same amount of Bright Dairy products that he had ordered in 2011.

And others will probably have to pay more.

"I have no choice but to accept it because I really don't think another milk company can give me home delivery in Shanghai," Zhang said.

Bright Dairy could not be reached for comments.

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Dennis at 2012-03-0458.96.89.*
Did Zhang (who earns a very good salary by average Chinese standards at 10,000 yuan a month) ever stop to consider that maybe the price rises are to help pay more to the person who delivers the milk to his door an who is probably paid a pittance ? Perhaps he should consider getting up off his couch and buying the milk from the supermarket if he feels that strongly. In the West home delivery of milk is almost non-existent. Not much sympathy from me.

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