The DairyNews interviewed retailers and manufacturers in order to understand how this regulation is implemented and whether it is implemented at all.
"In the stores of the retail chain "Magnit" dairy products, dairy compound products and milk-containing products will be visually highlighted with the help of price tags. For the convenience of buyers on the price tag of goods containing no substitute for milk fat there will be the appropriate information inscription that meets the order of the Ministry of industry and trade of the Russian Federation" – reports the press service of the retail chain "Magnit" of JSC "Tander", especially for The DairyNews.
As you can see, the vague wording of the resolution gave the retail chains some freedom of action – the document does not mention the "separate" shelves for natural products and falsified products. As previously reported by The DairyNews, there are only recommendations by the Rospotrebnadzor, which retail chains are in no hurry to perform.
"Perekrestok" went further: there they not only introduced a new method of designating products on price tags, but also installed special posters for visitors. The representative of X5 Retail Group: "All X5 stores have already prepared to meet the new requirements for the placement of dairy products in the trading floor. For visual separation of products containing milk fat substitute and the products without it the price tag there appeared a special designation of "With milk fat substitute" and "Without milk fat substitute". In addition, the stores have posters explaining the new labeling".
The comment of the press service of "Perekrestok" was confirmed: in Moscow shops price tags really have been changed. Now each dairy product will have its own marking.
The things are going worse in ordinary grocery stores, or in regional not retail chain departments. There it seems they have not heard about the decision – the shelves are full of products, and only the supplier knows which products are natural.
The DairyNews interviewed the top managers of several major manufacturers of dairy products in order to find out their attitude to the initiative. Their opinions divided.
Anatoly Losev, General Director of "Molvest", does not believe that the initiative will bring noticeable results: "We have positive attitude to such initiatives, but in general, I think it will not lead to anything, because the question is not in the sorting of goods, but in the fact that the seller cannot know what product in front of him, whether the label corresponds to the real content of the product. 2 parties are responsible for this – the manufacturer and the retail chain. The latter, using their influence, directly or indirectly can force companies to save and replace natural dairy products with cheaper ones. There will also be no significant impact on the growth or decline in milk sales".
Vartan Avetov, the founder of “A2 milk”, on the contrary, supports the initiative: "We believe that this is a useful initiative – not to mislead consumers, but to separate products that contain real milk fat from those that do not. This did not affect us in any way, we do not produce falsified products, and we believe that our partners in retail chains do not sell them either".
Yury Karakashyan, the General Director of the Rostovsky factory of processed cheese, reacted favorably to the changes; however, he also sees a number of problems in them. First of all, only large retail chains change the location of products: "At present there is no noticeable result, this has not affected our applications for the production. But for buyers, the initiative is useful, it facilitates the choice – everyone will know what he buys. However, in the smaller shops this is not working yet, groceries «near the house» still do not separate products".
Igor Du, Chairman of the Board of “Galactika” Dairy plant, also said that there was no noticeable effect. In his understanding, those who falsify the dairy product, putting a false label on it, will continue to do so in any case, and it will not save buyers from buying the goods with a milk fat substitute. "But on the other hand, the measures can be useful for those manufacturers who initially produce "not milk" - products with substitutes. For them it is a kind of promotion - if the goods are placed on a separate shelf".
Thus, the practical benefit of the adopted resolution at the moment is not observed – most of the food stores did not react to it. Only big retailers reacted just setting a "mark" on the price tags and putting up posters, which cannot be noticed immediately. And if you take to account that we all buying milk or cheese, pay attention to 2 components – fat content and price, the probability that someone will notice these labels – "Without milk fat substitute" and "With milk fat substitute" is not big.