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State stops sale of cheap milk
The Advocate ^ | January 25, 2013 | MICHELLE MILLHOLLON

Posted on 01/28/2013 9:15:06 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

For Lafayette stockbroker Kenneth Daigle, buying a gallon of milk is no longer the bargain it used to be on Tuesdays at Fresh Market.

The upscale supermarket chain yanked milk from its $2.99 once-a-week promotion after a state auditor objected to the low price. A gallon of whole milk was priced at $5.69 Thursday at the Fresh Market in Perkins Rowe.

State Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain said Fresh Market violated state regulations by selling milk below cost as part of a promotion.

The supermarket routinely sells a gallon of skim, 1 percent, 2 percent or whole milk for $2.99 on Tuesdays, limiting the quantity to four per customer.

State law requires retailers’ markups to be no less than 6 percent of the invoice cost after adding freight charges.

The Dairy Stabilization Board oversees milk prices in Louisiana. The board was established after Schwegmann, a New Orleans-area grocery chain, launched a legal battle in the 1970s with the Louisiana Milk Commission to buy milk from out-of-state suppliers because it was cheaper.

The issue over Fresh Market’s milk involves the cost of milk to consumers rather than the price paid to farmers.

“They can sell it 6 percent over cost all day long. It’s when they sell it below cost that it becomes a problem,” Strain said.

During the second week of January, the price for a gallon of whole milk in Baton Rouge ranged from $4 to $6.89.

Strain said his office dispatched an auditor to the Fresh Market in Mandeville after receiving a complaint about the Tuesday promotion. His press office declined to identify the complainant.

During the visit, the auditor explained the regulations to store officials, Strain said.

Daigle learned about the change in price when he plunked down a gallon of milk at the cash register Tuesday at the Fresh Market two blocks from his office.

He routinely buys two gallons of milk at the sale price. He puts one gallon in the refrigerator and freezes the other.

This time, the milk rang up at the nonsale price. When Daigle questioned the price tag, the cashier told him the state had come down on the store.

Fresh Market’s corporate headquarters referred media questions to the Atlanta-based BRAVE Public Relations.

BRAVE released a prepared statement from Drewry Sackett, Fresh Market’s marketing, public relations and community relations manager.

Sackett said the promotion applied to the store’s private label, rBST-free milk.

“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 ... 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,” Sackett said.

Daigle said he is outraged that the state would intervene in order to control a retail store’s prices.

“Should we do the same thing with bread? Should we do the same thing with soft drinks?” he asked.

Strain said the regulations exist to keep the price of milk as low as possible.

Allowing a supermarket to sell milk below cost could drive competitors out of business, allowing the store to then increase the price of milk, he said.

Daigle disagrees with Strain’s approach.

He said it is understandable for states to regulate the wholesale price, ensuring that farmers receive fair compensation for their labor.

Controlling the price on the grocery store shelf is heavy-handed, Daigle said.

“If retailers want to take a loss, so be it,” he said.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Government; News/Current Events; US: Louisiana
KEYWORDS: bullystate; dairyboard; freshmarket; milk; nannystate

1 posted on 01/28/2013 9:15:12 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: Eric Blair 2084; SheLion; Gabz; Hank Kerchief; 383rr; libertarian27; traviskicks; bamahead; CSM; ...

Obnoxious Dairy Board Nanny State PING!


2 posted on 01/28/2013 9:17:12 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Happy New Year!)
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To: Eric Blair 2084; SheLion; Gabz; Hank Kerchief; 383rr; libertarian27; traviskicks; bamahead; CSM; ...

Obnoxious Dairy Board Nanny State PING!


3 posted on 01/28/2013 9:17:50 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (Happy New Year!)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I still do not understand why peasants put up with this crap


4 posted on 01/28/2013 9:18:50 PM PST by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Thanks for the ping!


5 posted on 01/28/2013 9:21:42 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
A gallon of whole milk was priced at $5.69

Wow! I am glad I switched to beer.

6 posted on 01/28/2013 9:25:51 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Sadly a gallon used to be 2.99.

Bob Odom gave us the parting gift of a .10c dairy container tax.

A +.10c per container tax made the price jump $1.00!

Too many fingers, not enough pies!

7 posted on 01/28/2013 9:34:41 PM PST by rawcatslyentist ("Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one," Jeremiah 50:31)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Tom Smith and His Incredible Bread Machine by R.W. Grant

This is a legend of success and plunder
And a man, Tom Smith, who squelched world
hunger.
Now, Smith, an inventor, had specialized
In toys. So, people were surprised
When they found that he instead
Of making toys, was BAKING BREAD!

The way to make bread he'd conceived
Cost less than people could believe.
And not just make it! This device
Could, in addition, wrap and slice!
The price per loaf, one loaf or many:
The miniscule sum of under a penny.

Can you imagine what this meant?
Can you comprehend the consequent?
The first time yet the world well fed!
And all because of Tom Smith's bread.

A citation from the President
For Smith's amazing bread.
This and other honors too
Were heaped upon his head.

But isn't it a wondrous thing
How quickly fame is flown?
Smith, the hero of today
Tomorrow, scarcely known.

Yes, the fickle years passed by;
Smith was a millionaire,
But Smith himself was now forgot
Though bread was everywhere.

People, asked from where it came,
Would very seldom know.
They would simply eat and ask,
"Was not it always so?"

However, Smith cared not a bit,
For millions ate his bread,
And "Everything is fine," thought he,
"I am rich and they are fed!"

Everything was fine, he thought?
He reckoned not with fate.
Note the sequence of events
Starting on the date
On which the business tax went up.
Then, to a slight extent,
The price on every loaf rose too:
Up to one full cent!

"What's going on?" the public cried,
"He's guilty of pure plunder.
He has no right to get so rich
On other people's hunger!"

(A prize cartoon depicted Smith
With fat and drooping jowls
Snatching bread from hungry babes
Indifferent to their howls!)

Well, since the Public does come first,
It could not be denied
That in matters such as this,
The Public must decide.

So, antitrust now took a hand.
Of course, it was appalled
At what it found was going on.
The "bread trust," it was called.

Now this was getting serious.
So Smith felt that he must
Have a friendly interview
With the men in antitrust.
So, hat in hand, he went to them.
They'd surely been misled;
No rule of law had he defied.
But then their lawyer said:

The rule of law, in complex times,
Has proved itself deficient.
We much prefer the rule of men!
It's vastly more efficient.
Now, let me state the present rules.

The lawyer then went on,
These very simpIe guidelines
You can rely upon:
You're gouging on your prices if
You charge more than the rest.
But it's unfair competition
If you think you can charge less.

A second point that we would make
To help avoid confusion:
Don't try to charge the same amount:
That would be collusion!
You must compete. But not too much,
For if you do, you see,
Then the market would be yours
And that's monopoly!"

Price too high? Or price too low?
Now, which charge did they make?
Well, they weren't loath to charging both
With Public Good at stake!

In fact, they went one better
They charged "monopoly!"
No muss, no fuss, oh woe is us,
Egad, they charged all three!

"Five years in jail," the judge then said.
"You're lucky it's not worse.
Robber Barons must be taught
Society Comes First!"

Now, bread is baked by government.
And as might be expected,
Everything is well controlled;
The public well protected.

True, loaves cost a dollar each.
But our leaders do their best.
The selling price is half a cent.
(Taxes pay the rest!)

8 posted on 01/28/2013 9:38:17 PM PST by Mr Ramsbotham (Laws against sodomy are honored in the breech.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Stories like this make me wonder why GOPe types think Bobby Jindal is the future. I don't give a crap about what he's done in the past (usually just tweaking around the edges of bureaucracy) if as governor he can't stop this kind of crap then he's as useless as them all.

I'm tired of the GOP playing the same game as Dems. No one truly stops the massive machine of overpaid underlings that are nothing but statist and overlords.

9 posted on 01/28/2013 9:43:40 PM PST by Fledermaus (I'm done with the GOP. Let them wither and die. Let's start over.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
During the second week of January, the price for a gallon of whole milk in Baton Rouge ranged from $4 to $6.89.

Holy moley bat man, I can buy whole milk all day long, every day for $2.98 a gallon.

10 posted on 01/28/2013 9:48:09 PM PST by Graybeard58
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

I live in La. and I know we are not much of a dairy state but our milk prices are ridiculous. Hopefully this will get enough exposure so that changes will be made. It has worked in the past and Bobby Jindal likes to be a man of the people.


11 posted on 01/28/2013 9:51:08 PM PST by BBell (And Now for Something Completely Different)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Where’s the obligatory ‘women and children hurt most’, Ms. Millhillon? We both know you’d throw that in if Bush were President.

Milk is a necessary part of a healthy diet, especially for children, if I’m not mistaken.

The nanny-state busybodies are royally scrooing those that can barely make ends meet. Too bad Michelle doesn’t see fit to educate the masses.


12 posted on 01/28/2013 9:53:11 PM PST by MichaelCorleone (A return to Jesus and prayer in the schools is the only way.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Strain said the regulations exist to keep the price of milk as low as possible.

Allowing a supermarket to sell milk below cost could drive competitors out of business, allowing the store to then increase the price of milk, he said.

Basic Econ 101! How can people be so utterly stupid? Government involvement never lowers prices. Milk can easily be found for less than $3 in the D.C. metro area, not exactly an area of low-cost living.

If a store drives out competition and then raises the price, that invites the return of competition with lower prices. Yes, there are other factors with economies of scale, etc., but the principles are obviously sound. Price controls do not keep prices down!

13 posted on 01/28/2013 9:57:42 PM PST by FoxInSocks ("Hope is not a course of action." -- M. O'Neal, USMC)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

ANYTIME the Govt gets involved the results are the same...

Most Regulations are simply a Tax and Infringement of Liberty.

Since Obamacare passed I ignore any Law that I can at every opportunity that I can think of, sometimes I create opportunities just to cheer myself up. Problem with that is that now not doing anything is against the Law. Hey I can do that too!

Then why am I so depressed?

TT


14 posted on 01/28/2013 11:52:59 PM PST by TexasTransplant (This needs to go viral http://vimeo.com/52009124 please watch it)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

Jeez Louise! I don’t pay that much for a gallon (two cartons) of half ‘n half.


15 posted on 01/29/2013 12:09:25 AM PST by beelzepug (Telling other people they need to die is a good way to get your own lamp blown out.)
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To: FoxInSocks
Government involvement never lowers prices.

Sure it does.

Presently you can buy a Leaf car with a big healthy government subsidy and tax credit and pay $7000 to $15000 less than it would cost without the government involved. (Assuming such a vehicle would be available at all without subsidy.)

Government lowers prices all the time by shifting costs from one group to another.

What government never does is lower costs. The total cost paid for any good by all groups always goes up when the gov starts regulating or subsidizing it.

16 posted on 01/29/2013 2:53:55 AM PST by Sherman Logan
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To: GeronL
>>I still do not understand why peasants put up
>>with this crap

I know, it's udderly ridiculous isn't it.

There was this one time the Black Knight tried to resist the Royal Milk Kleptocracy - but that was a horrible mess. Appendages flying through the air and arterial blood spurting everywhere. Horrible!



And what's so great about a Grail with a hole in it anyhow?
17 posted on 01/29/2013 4:00:34 AM PST by TArcher
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To: Sherman Logan
>>Government lowers prices all the time by
>>shifting costs from one group to another.

And another thing -- If the Dead are so Grateful, then why did their generation concoct a scheme of socialized medicine so the rest of us would be forced to pay to keep them alive?
18 posted on 01/29/2013 4:04:37 AM PST by TArcher
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To: Graybeard58

$6.89, that’s almost what it costs out in Hawaii!


19 posted on 01/29/2013 4:36:21 AM PST by TexasM1A
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To: Sherman Logan

Well, it’s a tax credit. You would only get the full credit if you owe that much in taxes in the first place.

If you only owe $1K in taxes, then $1K in credit is all you can get on these cars.

You would have to owe $7,500.00 in taxes to get the $7,500.00 tax credit on a Volt, for example.


20 posted on 01/29/2013 5:17:00 AM PST by ltc8k6
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

If a store wants to ‘loss leader’ a product they should be able to - no matter what the product.

There are many years during Thanksgiving where turkey prices are very high, there are stores that will sell turkeys for under their cost from distributors - it’s their loss leader price to get customers to hopefully shop the rest of the store for all their holiday needs.


21 posted on 01/29/2013 5:27:40 AM PST by libertarian27 (Check my profile page for links to the 2011 & 2012 FR Cookbooks- Enjoy)
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To: rawcatslyentist

Schwegmann’s was gone before Katrina...the last remnant of it was Schwegmann Bank.

The story I heard was that Schwegmann told the customers to save their receipts — when he got the law overturned, he would give the customers refunds. I don’t know if that is the 1970’s dispute or before.


22 posted on 01/29/2013 5:30:44 AM PST by scrabblehack
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks
“They can sell it 6 percent over cost all day long. It’s when they sell it below cost that it becomes a problem,” Strain said.

Uh, no, it's when you poke your nose into things you don't understand and which are none of your business that it becomes a problem. Are they allowed to buy advertising? That's what they're doing by selling one or two products below their cost. They're doing their own advertising in house, and in a way that benefits the consumer instead of clogging his airwaves or mailbox.

Stores also sell milk and other perishables at lower prices when they're still good but nearing the point at which they'll have to be pulled from the shelves. If they can recover what they paid, or even most of it, that's a victory from their point of view.

If milk was the only product they sold, and they were continuously selling it at a loss, you might have reason to suspect they had some evil scheme working, but that's clearly not the case, you moron. Leave them alone!

23 posted on 01/29/2013 10:21:29 AM PST by Still Thinking (Freedom is NOT a loophole!)
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