The Spanish High Court confirms Milk Cartel existed between 2000-2013

Madrid, 21 February 2024 - In a historic ruling, the National Court dismissed the appeals filed by the dairy industry in support of the sanctions imposed by the Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) in July 2019 who fined ten of the largest Spanish and international dairy companies and associations € 80.6 million for anti-competitive practices.

The National Court confirmed the existence of the Milk Cartel carried out between 2000 and 2013 by the main dairy industries operating in Spain: Pascual, Puleva, Capsa (which operates under the brand Central Lechera Asturiana), Danone, Lactalis, Nestlé, Celega and Schreiber. They exchanged information, at national and regional level, on purchase prices of raw cow's milk, purchase volumes of farmers and milk surpluses.

This unlawful behaviour deprived dairy farmers of the right to freely negotiate the price of their milk, and further weakening their bargaining position, in a market already infamous for the low prices paid to farmers.

Hausfeld and legal services company ESKARIAM, supported by Hitchings & Co, represent 7,000 farmers nationwide, mainly located in Galicia, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Valencia, Asturias and Cantabria).

They intervened in the appeals before the National Court in defence of the entire livestock sector, through the submission of defence briefs to the CNMC and specialised economic reports, explaining the functioning of the dairy market  and likely contributing to this historic ruling issued by the National Court. 

In light of this ruling, livestock farmers will now be able to confidently exercise their right to claim compensation for the damages suffered all these years, which may exceed € 1 billion for the sector as a whole, and we will continue to support the farmers in this fight.

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