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* Severe shortage of milk powder in Sri Lanka
Wed, Dec 25, 2013, 09:23 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 25, Colombo: A severe shortage of milk powder prevails in Sri Lanka's market and the consumers say that they are severely affected during the festive season due to the shortage.

Retail marketers say that they cannot obtain adequate supplies from wholesalers.

Market sources say that Nestlé has minimized production of milk powder due to losses.

The demand for Fonterra products declined drastically due to the recent scare of its milk powder being contaminated with dicyandiamide (DCD).

Prices of milk powder, an essential commodity in Sri Lanka, are controlled by the state Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA). The Sri Lankan government has turned down requests from milk powder companies to increase the prices.

Meanwhile a strike at the state-owned Milco Company has affected the supplies of locally produced Highland brand. The employees of Narahenpita Highland factory have launched a strike demanding the removal of the director of the company.

Chairman of Milco Sunil Wickremasinghe said that no room will be allowed for any injustice for the dairy farmers and consumers due to an unjustifiable trade union action taken by a group of employees.

He said Milco products will be released to the market in the next few days.

According to the, the union is demanding the suspension of shifting the factory in Narahenpita to another location and the removal of Chairman, Vice Chairman and the Acting Director.

The Chairman accused the employees belong to the trade union of damaging the properties of the company.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Affairs Authority is investigating whether the traders have hidden the stocks to create an artificial shortage to force a price hike.

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