Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Price Your Milk

This story happened in Louisiana just this week, and when you think about it... it's really hard to believe! A Louisiana grocery store called Fresh Market has a Tuesday milk special in which they offer skim, 1%, 2%, or whole milk for $2.99 with a limit of 4 per customer. Quite a deal, especially when at the time, the average price for a gallon of milk in the Baton Rouge area ranged from $4 to $6.89.

When the State Agriculture and Forestry department caught wind of the sale, they sent a representative to check things out. When they found the tip to be true, they put a stop to this store's milk sale. This really happened. The state told the grocery store they cannot sell their milk at that price. There is apparently a state law which dictates that retailers must sell milk no cheaper than at 6% over their cost.

Mike Strain, the commissioner for the State Agriculture and Forestry department, said the regulations are in place to keep milk prices as low as possible. Which is perfectly understandable so that dairy farmers get their fair share at the wholesale level. But, if $2.99 is too cheap to sell milk, it would seem to me that this law doesn't quite work as intended. Which leads to the larger question - of which many of us will have an opinion. Is it right, in any state, for government to tell any retailer what they can and can not sell their goods for? Could you imagine owning your own store and being told what to sell your goods for? Goods that you had purchased with your own money!

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