The Ordering Task triples the price of milk and cheese in Sancti Spíritus

The Ordering Task triples the price of milk and cheese in Sancti Spíritus

The price of fresh cheese, or frescol, as they call it in Sancti Spíritus, has increased three or four times since November, and that of ice cream has doubled. The population is very upset, according to the newspaper Escambray this Tuesday, determined to ask those responsible for the industry what has turned the product into a kind of white gold, as the report calls it.

However, the answers found do not seem very satisfactory, since Ariel Fernández Martín, director of the Business Group for Commerce and Gastronomy in Sancti Spíritus, considers that the repercussions of the increase in demand are relative, because balls of ice cream continue to be shipped in Coppelia even if they are at 7 pesos.

“We are sure that it is a food with preferences for the preparation of dishes or snacks, but the rise in price also affects gastronomic services, since now a pizza can cost 40 pesos or more and the demand decreases,” says the official. in relation to fresh and liquid. “However, in the case of ice cream, although the population complains, acceptance is maintained and everyone who is put up for sale has had an outlet.”

“Dairy has difficulties with the initial freezing that must be given to this product and when it arrives at Coppelia our refrigerators are for maintenance, so we have had to sell it in containers”

Fernández Martín admits that there are many reproaches regarding the amount, which in the opinion of the people from Sancti Spiritus has been significantly reduced despite the fact that the price is skyrocketing. But this is not related, he maintains, to prices or the scarcity of the product, but rather to the refrigeration capacity.

“Dairy has difficulties with the initial freezing that must be given to this product and when it arrives at Coppelia our refrigerators are for maintenance, so we have had to sell it in containers, without table service, almost wholesale, so that leave quickly. Only what they bring from the Trinidad factory is arriving with the required level of cold,” he argues.

For the rest, dairy products are doing great, according to his testimony: cream cheese, natural yogurt and soy yogurt have also increased in price, up to double, and that has not stopped them from being bought. “This is also affected by the fact that they are sold in small formats and that the price increase was twice its initial value,” he says as an advantage, probably because the rest of the increases are much worse.

Fernández Martín explains that the current price of frescol is 187 pesos per pound in the Ideal markets, very high, he admits, because production is more expensive than usual.

In the informal market, a pound of fresh cheese, known as “queso de guajiros” is sold for over 300 pesos.

Rolando Contreras Sosa, general director of the Río Zaza Dairy Products Company of Sancti Spíritus, justifies the price increase in the increase in payment to the producer

The demand for imported cheeses, such as gouda, has also triggered the price of the product, which at the moment is only sold in stores in foreign currency or through purchase portals from abroad. A block of a little more than three kilograms of German or Dutch gouda exceeds 3,000 pesos on the informal market.

Rolando Contreras Sosa, general director of the Río Zaza Dairy Products Company of Sancti Spíritus, justifies the price increase in the increase in the payment to the producer. In the month of December, and in application of the measures of the Ordering Task, he explains, the liter of milk began to be paid at 20 pesos, compared to the 7.50 it had had in 2021.

The increase responded to the complaints of the producers, who have seen how absolutely everything necessary for the manufacture of cheese rose. In addition, the industry suffers from the same ills, from water and diesel to workers’ wages or imported raw materials, which have become more expensive.

“We must bear in mind that to obtain a pound of cheese in the industry, six liters of milk are used, if collateral expenses are added to this, then the cost of a pound is around 134 pesos, to which we only add the 10% of the value”, it reels. That 10% is the maximum allowed for profits. The rest, says the official, is for the Trade Company, in taxes.

The argument is refuted by a reader who comments on the note of Escambray and says he has consulted with other producers from different countries in areas with similar temperatures. “Everyone without exception says they get a pound of cheese with less than 4 liters of cow’s milk. Either the factory you run is extremely inefficient, or you don’t adjust to reality,” he snaps.

Most of the comments that the note has garnered are critical of the explanations. Some ask that wages rise to the level of rich countries, since the price of cheese is comparable

The company insists that it contains the price as much as possible and that it will do so more when circumstances allow it, something that seems very far from being achieved with the 70% inflation that weighs on the country.

Contreras Sosa adds that the prices in the province are higher than those of others in its environment for reasons attributable to manufacturing, such as the use of diesel boilers instead of fuel oil ones -cheaper- or the long journeys that must be made . “[Depende] of the type of technology used and let us remember that ours is very obsolete and high energy consumer. Only in the La Sierpe industry is cheese made at a low cost, because it is practically made by hand,” he alleges.

Most of the comments that the note has garnered are critical of the explanations. Some ask that wages rise to the level of rich countries, since the price of cheese is comparable. Others demand the rapid intervention of politicians or demand that milk be used for children and the elderly instead of wasting it on a product that may not have outlets due to its high price. A self-employed worker alleges that six inspectors visited him to ask him to lower prices and ironically annoyed: “Now it’s laughable, coming with this. Wages didn’t go up like that. Cheese from 17 pesos to 187 pesos… I’ll have to go up like this to to be able to give him bread for my girls’ snack in elementary school. This economy is a disaster”.

“A lack of respect for the working people, that we are already tired of the fact that the salary does not even give us enough to eat decently. The truth is, they have disgraced the country with all this rearrangement. No change they make has benefited the people,” says another reader indignant. Even if Escambray the text ends with a nice poem, the population does not seem to be joking.

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