Bajans urged to buy local milk products

Minister of Agriculture, Dr. David Estwick (left) and Director of the Pine Hill Dairy, Richard Cozier at today’s news briefing at the Pine plant.
Minister of Agriculture, Dr. David Estwick (left) and Director of the Pine Hill Dairy, Richard Cozier at today’s news briefing at the Pine plant.

Barbados is being used as a “dumping ground” for cheap milk import substitutes and Government’s hands are tied in stopping the influx through commercial policies. That was the position taken this morning by Minister of Agriculture, Dr. David Estwick.

Responding to reporters’ questions at the end of an extensive tour of the Pine Hill Dairy processing plant in the Pine, St. Michael, Estwick said government can no longer impose any form of restrictions on the many different brands of milk coming into the country, a state of affairs which the President of the Dairy and Beef Producers Association of Barbados, Brian Allen recently suggested was “killing” the local industry.

“Prior to signing onto the WTO rules, you could introduce a licensing regime, you could use commercial policy, you could use a quota system, in order to restrict imports and so on. But once we signed on, that is all gone,” he reasoned.

“So as a result of that,” noted the minister of food, “we are essentially being ‘dumped on’; and as a result of that, the vast increase in the amount of, and types of products are now available in Barbados. That is trade liberalisation.”

He was of the view that as a small developing country, that is what happens, “once you become penetrated culturally first, and then secondarily you become penetrated in terms of the products that come thereafter.

“Barbados is now facing that reality that trade liberalisation is here, and as a result, milk products, milk substitutes, variation of milk products are going to come through the [sea] port and the airport; and what we have to do is [realise] that we cannot stop it by introducing commercial policy,” the government minister insisted.

Both Estwick and Director of the Pine Hill Dairy, Richard Cozier agreed that a drop in consumption of local fresh milk by Barbadians was the main reason the dairy had been stuck with a glut of produce causing a domino effect that has been adversely impacting the supply of milk by farmers.

They also explained that Barbadians were not buying as much local milk – and juices – as before because of price, and the fact that they had wider options that included cheaper imported brands.

Estwick pointed out, too, that Barbados could not compete with the foreign milk which are subsidised, in that it did not have the capacity to do so.

However, the minister of agriculture told the PHD top brass that the government would do all in its power to ensure the survival of the company and industry as a whole.

He disclosed that officials of his ministry were working feverishly on the establishment of a Dairy Control Board, which would have oversight in determining price and quotas for the local sector.

Estwick said legislation was being prepared to give the board legal teeth and standing. (EJ)

16 Responses to Bajans urged to buy local milk products

  1. Marcia Payne
    Marcia Payne September 10, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    phd has to make it more affordable….right now the price is prohibitive

  2. Bentley Williams
    Bentley Williams September 10, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Agreed Marcia P, and get away from the UHT process as well. Go back to basics.

  3. J.C. P.
    J.C. P. September 10, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    @Bentley. They have to look at everything it may not be that easy. For example they might have to meet certain quality standards to export to different markets.

    • Sharmian Niel
      Sharmian Niel September 11, 2013 at 5:30 am

      Nobody is going to buy their “fresh” milk in other countries because it is substandard and tastes disgusting.

    • J.C. P.
      J.C. P. September 11, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      Perhaps they need to go into cheese production with all of the macaroni pie that Bajans like to eat.

  4. John Fayne-Cleaver
    John Fayne-Cleaver September 10, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Buy pinehill milk, please explain why it has gone up 60cents in a week????

  5. Roger Manning
    Roger Manning September 10, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Too expensive and does not taste like milk any more.

  6. Kelly A Murrell
    Kelly A Murrell September 10, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    When they start selling milk that actually tastes like milk, maybe. Until then i’ll stick with My Milk. PHD needs to learn to listen to their consumers.

    • Sharmian Niel
      Sharmian Niel September 11, 2013 at 5:28 am


    • Angela Thompson Branch
      Angela Thompson Branch September 11, 2013 at 8:54 am

      I backing my local co all the way ,they just need to listen to their consumers and take it from there.Cause i like my milk from those healthy looking cows I see around this country.

  7. Marie Ella
    Marie Ella September 11, 2013 at 3:07 am

    Bring down the Damn Price to 2 dollars.

  8. Sharmian September 11, 2013 at 5:28 am

    For heaven’s sake – when will PHD and the minister stop fooling themselves? There is no fresh milk coming out of PHD these days and people won’t buy the muck they are producing instead. No wonder there are stockpiles and a wider choice of substitutes in the shops. Barbadians and residents will choose what they want to drink. It is apparent that they are doing just that. What a shame – the milk I remember from 1997 until the “improved” process was excellent. There is NO way that tourists will accept the “new” milk. If government wants to help, then allow a new milk producer to come into the market locally – a producer that doesn’t destroy the fresh milk – or insist that PHD reverts to its previous, very enjoyable milk, one that you can’t store for three months on a shop shelf!!!! Get real……..

  9. Neysa Huey
    Neysa Huey September 11, 2013 at 7:31 am

    I do buy fresh local milk – just NOT from PHD

  10. Princess Tiny Neferua
    Princess Tiny Neferua September 11, 2013 at 8:46 am

    I have said many times … PHD. need to LOWER PRICES…have their really checked those prices lately…I will continue to drink herbal teas until that day come…

  11. sungoddess September 11, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Sharmain… you are speaking from a place of ignorance and not information.

    There are almost a dozen milk choices coming out of PHD, from regular pasteurised, lactose free, flavoured milk, evap etc. UP Milk is only ONE option available.

    The idea that it’s ‘new’ milk only coming out of PHD, and continuing to repeat it in these forums just advertises not only your ignorance, but the general ignorance of the Barbadian population when it comes to supporting their local industries.

    Calling for the ‘end of Pinehill’ in favour of some new producer, or imported alternatives is tantamount to KILLING Barbados’s economy.

    Check out “Life & Debt” on YouTube. Check out how the slowly murdered Jamaica’s dairy industry, and watch how the IMF then proceeded to rape that country.

    Want to save Barbados from a similar fate? BUY MILK WOMAN!

    You are talking about a milk producer that just got ISO certified… where is your pride? Where is your patriotism? Where is your industry?

    Drowning in a morass of ignorance… and regurgitated bitterness that gets us nowhere.

  12. Tster Trix
    Tster Trix September 11, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Or make local cheese with the excess milk.


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