Fresh milk to cost more in Puerto Rico starting May 27
The price of locally produced fresh milk will increase for the first time since 2014, to offset an increase in production costs evidenced in a recent economic study by the Agriculture Department’s Dairy Industry Regulatory Office (ORIL, in Spanish).
During a news conference, Agriculture Secretary Ramón González and ORIL Administrator Javier Lugo-Rullán confirmed that effective May 27, the price for 32 ounces of milk will increase from the current $1.53 to between $1.64 and $1.73.
A half-gallon will cost between $3.28 and $3.45 from the current price of $3.06 and the 120-ounce family size container that currently rings up at $5.74 at the register, will cost between $6.14 and $6.47.
The retail price for Ultra-High Temperature milk will remain at the current $1.95, agriculture officials said.
Lugo-Rullán said the new pricing structure was decided during a hearing with milk industry representatives on Feb. 5, who claimed for an even higher increase.
ORIL based its evaluation on information provided by dairy plants, ranchers and retailers.
“We’re closely monitoring the trend in prices for livestock feed. For now, the farmers will continue to get the same payment from the processing plants,” González said.
“However, we don’t rule out that there will be a review process in August as established by law to address this matter,” said González, adding that “we will continue to strengthen the agricultural sector and promote high-quality production and increase the consumption of local products.”
“A study to evaluate the milk industry had not been done since 2014. We have had hurricanes and earthquakes and we continue to experience a pandemic, events that have brought on inevitable changes in production everywhere in the world. It was hard to pass an increase. However, it’s necessary and fair for the producers,” said González.