Rising production costs and raw material shortages are driving up prices for Cretan cheese, and supplies may run out by January. Cheese products made from goat and sheep milk in Crete and the rest of Greece will likely remain expensive this year due to decreased milk production. The Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Mylopotamos LLC reports that the current producer milk price is 1.40 euros per litre, and the new price for sheep and goat milk in Crete is still pending.
Graviera Kritis has hit 20 euros per kilogram in recent months, and additional costs and profits will impact the price from producer to consumer. Concerns about potentially importing low-quality milk and chemicals to lower prices have been raised. Prices for goat and sheep milk in the rest of Greece are also expected to rise, possibly reaching up to 1.80 euros per litre.
Prof Dr Alexandros Stefanakis has identified several factors contributing to issues for breeders and the rise in milk and cheese prices. These include unusually high fall temperatures and a lack of rain, which affect the quality of grass and crops, resulting in increased losses and health issues for livestock. Due to the shortage of greens and pasture, farmers had to feed their livestock at higher costs. There were also increases in other areas, such as energy and labour, leading to high production costs. Prof. Stefanakis believes there is no room for reducing prices for the producers. He also mentioned that prices for goat milk will likely follow the trend set by olive oil.
Because, in addition to the unbearable cost of coarse animal feed, since due to the destruction of the Thessalian plain, they have skyrocketed to unmanageable prices, we also have other costs that dramatically increase production costs.Stefanakis told Neakriti
Shepherds and veterinarians expect milk production in Crete to remain consistent with last year, while cheese stocks in Crete will probably last until the new production of cheese comes to the market in January or February 2024.