Austrians pay for better dairy

“A closer analysis of the Eurostat publication on pan-European food prices shows that domestic dairy products are not expensive, but on the contrary, taking into account income, purchasing power parity and, above all, the high quality of domestic dairy products, are extremely favourable,” said president of The Association of Austrian Milk Processors (VÖM) Helmut Petschar, discussing a recently published study on the price levels of food in the European Union.

Eurostat has recently compared the average food price levels in each EU country, with Austria having a value of 125% of the EU average food price level, and the value of milk and dairy products being significantly lower at 107% of the EU average.

Closer analysis shows that national prices also depend on the average income and thus labour costs and purchasing power parity of a country.

Austria’s average disposable income per capita (127%) is well above the EU average, meaning that Austrians only need to spend a smaller percentage of their income on high-quality dairy products, as confirmed by an analysis of purchasing power parity, which is 23% cheaper for dairy products in Austria than the EU average.

Not counted into such price comparisons are the above-average number of discounts in the Austrian food trade. Furthermore, there are no explanations to who receives which share of these retail prices.

Particularly annoying to VÖM in such comparisons is that not all quality differences are addressed, as the Austrians are proud that their dairy products are known for being GMO-free, have the highest organic content, are produced in mountain and disadvantaged areas, have regional processing and thus are subject to far higher quality standards than in other countries – all that is not included in the price comparisons.

“The bottom line is that Austrian dairy products are very cheap for our consumers, they offer the highest international quality standards and, in addition, the dairy industry provides other essential services for the state. However, in order to receive all this, it is necessary that these services be better compensated,” Petschar states.

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