Minister Salaza Calls Imports 'Excessive'05 December 2012
COLOMBIA - The minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Juan Camilo Restrepo Salazar has called attention to excessive dairy product imports signed under trade agreements by Colombia with several countries.
Specifically mentioned were imports from Chile, Argentina and Ecuador which rose from three thousand tons in 2011 to close to 16 000 tons in 2012.
"This exessive importing is distorting the market for dairy products and could lead to depressed prices paid to the producers which will impact on national employment and output," said Restrepo Salazar.
The minister added that imports at such levels have exceeded trade agreement stipulations meaning lower revenues are entering the national treasury due to preferential tarrifs paid. He has reported to the Directorate of National Taxes and Customs to take appropriate action.
It is hoped that arrangements can be made to adress the dairy produce balance so that the income of 350,000 rural families is protected.
The issue of whey and milk powder imports was mentioned by the minister who reported that they will not allow Freed Trade Agreements to to subdue the COlombian dairy market.
The minister also warned about what he called "abuse imports of so-called analog cheese", a subject on which the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce was alerted to act accordingly and avoid misleading the consumer.
The "cheese analogs" are produced using non-dairy raw materials whose main component is the "caseinate", aproduct used to obtain characteristics similar to those found in traditional cheese and nutirtional properties of milk competing directly with milk.
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