The famous Greek yogurt may not be so Greek from now on as the new article 82 on Greece’s Food and Drink Code says that fresh milk is no longer a required ingredient and yogurt can now be produced using powder milk or concentrated milk.
The article is still on draft stage and it is proposed after the Greek government agreed to use the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) toolbox as per the bailout agreement.
Greek farmers are reacting to the article on the code claiming that yogurt producers may turn to sources of inferior quality cheap milk.
“We know that there is a lot of (fresh) milk imported from abroad after the OECD report and the agreement our government signed,” said the president of the Kilkis farmers union, Giorgos Laskakis. “Now there will be imports of powder milk I don’t see any reason why a producer would not use powder instead of another ingredient for which he would have to pay more, even though it is worth it,” he added.
The Single Food Authority, reassuring saying that the use of powdered milk in yogurt is prohibited. As says President of EFET John Tsialtas, “not talking about dust, discussing other forms, heat-treated and concentrated, which is milk.”
Hellenic Food Authority President Yannis Tsialtas reassured farmers that the use of powdered milk is prohibited in yogurt production. “We are not talking about powdered milk. We are discussing other forms, such as heat-treated or concentrated milk, and that is real milk,” Tsialtas said.
Greek farmers, however, fear that the Greek fresh milk market might collapse, Laskakis said. At the same time, under these conditions there is the risk that Greek yogurt risks losing a powerful brand name in the international market.