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Tuesday, June 25 2019 @ 06:16 AM UTC

Striking Milk Plant Workers Jeapordize Market Supply

Protests & Demonstrations By Cindy Calderón for the Panama America - Milk producers are looking for ways to meet consumer's demands. In spite of the suspension of production in the Estrella Azul milk company due to a strike by their workers, the market continues to be supplied but the future is uncertain. For the last three days Estrella Azul has been sending the approximately 150,000 liters of milk they process daily to other plants. Frank Tedman, the Operations Manager for Estrella Azul, said yesterday this situation cannot continue indefinitely because the other plants have used almost all of their raw materials needed to supply the market, like for example package materials and boxes, among others. Belisario Contreras, the President of the Cooperative of Milk Producers of Panama, said the Two Pinos and Cooleche brands are making an effort to double their production from 30,000 to 60,000 liters daily in order to help supply the market. He added that "it is a very difficult situation." Although we tried to obtain comments from the plants that produce the Bonlac, Nevada, and La Chiricana brands of milk, they did not answer our calls. However, sources close to the sector said these plants are in the same situation as the Dos Pinos and Cooleche brands. The concerns of the cattle sector have been heard. Sebastián Peralta, the President of the National Cattleman's Association (ANAGAN), said they have asked the government for arbitration measurement, since this situation could affect both the consumers and producers. Peralta added that if the purchase of raw milk is suspended from the more than 1,500 producers the losses would be significant. Every day Estrella Azul pays about $68,000 dollars to the milk producers for the raw material they process. (See Comments)

Editor's Comment: Estrella Azul is one of the largest milk plants in Panama. The workers in their plants are on strike, and this strike is causing ripple effects throughout the entire market. The other producers are trying to step up production to help meet the demand but there have already been shortages on the shelves. Just be aware that there's a strike going on, and until it's over milk might be harder to find.

Empresas buscan hacerle frente a la posible escasez de leche

La huelga indefinida decretada por los obreros de la Estrella Azul afectará severamente el abastecimiento de leche en todo el país.

Cindy Calderón PA-DIGITAL

Compañías lácteas buscan hacerle frente a la demanda.

A pesar de la suspensión de la producción en la compañía de lácteos Estrella Azul, debido a la huelga que mantienen sus trabajadores, el mercado continúa abastecido, pero su futuro incierto.

Durante tres días la Estrella Azul ha estado transfiriendo los aproximados 150 mil litros de leche que procesa diariamente a las diferentes planta procesadoras.

Frank Tedman , gerente de Operaciones de la Estrella Azul, dijo ayer que esta situación no puede continuar de manera indefinida, ya que las otras plantas han utilizado casi toda su materia prima para abastecer el mercado, como por ejemplo los cartones y empaques, entre otros.

Belisario Contreras, presidente de la Cooperativa de Productores de Leche de Panamá, señaló que las marcas Dos Pinos y Cooleche están realizando un esfuerzo de duplicar su producción de 30 mil a 60 mil litros diarios para mantener abastecido el mercado. Agregó que “se trata de una situación muy difícil”.

Aunque se intentó conocer la versión de las plantas que procesan las marcas de leche Bonlac, Nevada y La Chiricana, estas no contestaron las llamadas. No obstante, fuentes ligada al sector aseguraron que se encuentran en la misma situación de las marcas Dos Pinos y Cooleche.

La preocupación del sector ganadero se ha hecho sentir. Sebastián Peralta, presidente de la Asociación Nacional de Ganaderos (ANAGAN), aseguró que han pedido al Gobierno una medida de arbitraje, ya que esta situación podría afectar tanto a los consumidores como a los productores. Peralta agregó que si se suspende la compra de leche a los más de mil 500 productores, se generarían perdidas significativas. Diariamente la Estrella Azul paga alrededor de 68 mil dólares a los productores por la leche que procesa.

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