18 September 1998
Dairy companies cleared of plot against Milk Marque

THE Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has cleared dairy companies of collusion following their failure to bid for milk in Milk Marques July auction.

Milk Marque, the co-operative owned by dairy farmers, had complained to the OFT accusing six companies of colluding with the Dairy Industry Federation to push down prices.

Milk Marque raised its selling prices sharply in July. The six largest buyers decided either not to bid or make only token offers, and Milk Marque was forced to cancel the auction.

Milk Marque held another auction in August, reducing the prices from the July level. It managed to sell 83% of the milk on offer.

The Monopolies and Mergers Commission is currently investigating the supply of raw milk in the UK.