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Supermarket busted for ... selling affordable milk

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4:42 AM 01/26/2013


Louisiana state regulators recently cracked down on a supermarket chain’s weekly promotional deal because it was selling milk too cheaply — which violates state law.

The upscale Fresh Markets was selling gallons of milk for $2.99 as part of a weekly promotional deal. Louisiana requires that retailer price markups be at least six percent above the invoice and shipping costs of the product.

“Because milk is a commodity product with regulated costs that are subject to change, at the current cost, due to Louisiana state law, we are unable to honor the $2.99 Tuesday deal for (Fresh Market) milk,” according to a statement from Drewry Sackett of BRAVE Public Relations, who represents Fresh Market. “Because the cost of milk fluctuates, it is possible that we will be able to offer the $2.99 deal on milk again in the future.”

“They can sell it six percent over cost all day long. It’s when they sell it below cost that it becomes a problem,” State Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain told The Advocate.

After getting a complaint about Fresh Market’s promotional deal, Strain’s office sent an auditor to a French Markets store.

At least one Fresh Market shopper was outraged when he found that the state government had intervened to control the store’s milk prices.

“Should we do the same thing with bread? Should we do the same thing with soft drinks?” asked Lafayette stockbroker Kenneth Daigle. “If retailers want to take a loss, so be it.”

by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 1:23 PM
Replies (21-29):
by on Jan. 27, 2013 at 7:26 PM
The price of subsidized commodities is regulated. Thank ibdustry lobbyists for that.
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by Bronze Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 7:49 PM
What the hell?
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by Ruby Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 8:47 PM


Then all of us, of course!

Quoting Raintree:

Quoting SallyMJ:

Yes. You're complicit.

by Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 11:38 PM

Fascinating.. the law has been around since the 70s and revised in the 80s. Guess it must not be a big deal the locals if it hasn't been overturned by now.

by Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 10:13 AM

As far as I know it's the same here. 

I assumed it was because they wanted to farmers to get a certain amount and no less. But I would have though most places would have a problem with companies charging way too much for it.

Quoting Erinelizz:

"Louisiana requires that retailer price markups be at least six percent above the invoice and shipping costs of the product."

That's messed up, Louisiana. Stores should be able to take a loss if they want's a marketing strategy. I wonder if other states have similar laws for retailers? The only law I'm aware of here in NY is a law that prevents retailers from price gouging.

by Silver Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 12:08 PM

It costs me about $1200 a year to feed my dairy goats, and they produce roughly 1200 gallons of milk/9600 pounds each year. I use the milk for drinking, making cheese, yogurt, butter, sour cream, and occasionally ice cream. I have enough extra to feed my chickens and pigs milk for half the year (which provides us with eggs, chicken for the freezer, and pork) ~ and cuts my feed costs for both the chickens and pigs. So ~ $1 per gallon (which includes all the listed dairy products), eggs for well under a $1 a dozen, and pork that roughs out to $.89 a pound.

I know not everyone can do this, but I know I won't play their money games ... and I know how little most farmers get as a return (except for the big producers ~ the grass fed/organic operations get squat which is why their end product costs so much more). I only raise what we need, so my costs are much lower. I also don't have any overhead such as expensive barns, planted/maintained pastures, high property taxes, and expensive equipment before any mention of state/federal fees, permits, etc. come into the equation.

The only way to 'fix' this is to take on monsanto and the ag organizations, and they have now amassed so much capital that there really is no way to fix it.

by on Jan. 28, 2013 at 12:15 PM

The store should them Make a Coupon for X$ off of the milk.

This way they are Saleing it for the correct price.  but a coupon takes some $ off if the person uses one.

I have gotten Smart Balance milk for .50$ a Gal after coupons.

by Silver Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 3:59 PM

OMG, free market choices, in Obama's America???  Surely you jest...............

Quoting Mommy_of_Riley:

Let them set their own prices...



Children are a blessing and are never inconvenient.............

by Gold Member on Jan. 28, 2013 at 11:21 PM

 (I might be wrong and/or over simplifiying this)

But milk as a comodity...if stores don't adhere to the law, then it drives down the prices of the commodity...investors make less $$$....

I don't understand how the gov't can regulate the percentage of profit a store can charge for any product...

Does our gov't mandate the same for ice cream? (a dairy product) cantaloupe? watermelon? bagels? cream cheese? (a dairy product), meats? cereal? shampoo?

Or just commodities?

Below is a partial list of traded commodities...

Corn CBOT 5000 bu C/ZC (Electronic)
Corn EURONEXT 50 tons EMA
Oats CBOT 5000 bu O/ZO (Electronic)
Rough Rice CBOT 2000 cwt RR
Soybeans CBOT 5000 bu S/ZS (Electronic)
Rapeseed EURONEXT 50 tons ECO
Soybean Meal CBOT 100 short tons SM/ZM (Electronic)
Soybean Oil CBOT 60,000 lb BO/ZB (Electronic)
Wheat CBOT 5000 bu W/ZW (Electronic)
Milk Chicago Mercantile Exchange 200,000 lbs DC
Cocoa ICE 10 tons CC
Coffee C ICE 37,500 lb KC
Cotton No.2 ICE 50,000 lb CT
Sugar No.11 ICE 112,000 lb SB
Sugar No.14 ICE 112,000 lb SE
Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice ICE 15,000 lbs FCOJ-A
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