Amid much controversy the specific measure was passed in April of this year as part of a range of OECD recommendations demanded by the troika to 'improve competition' in the Greek market.
The reform increased the sell-by date for fresh milk from five to seven days and also introduced pasteurised milk that would be collected and packaged within 24 hours and have a two-day shelf life.
Proponents of the shelf-life extension measure such as the then Development and Competitiveness Minister Kostas Hatzidakis had maintained that increasing the legal sell-by date for fresh milk would lower prices by encouraging healthy competition from European producers who were unable to access the Greek market. But the bill had met stiff opposition from domestic dairy producers who claimed that the measure was designed to favour large European companies at the expense of domestic milk production.
To date however the main loser appears to be the consumer given that prices not only haven't fallen, but have increased by 4.46% since the same time last year, according to reporting by Kathimerini citing data from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT). Immediately following the passage of the bill prices rose by 2.08%.
The higher prices appear to be driving consumers away from fresh milk to cheaper evaporated milk, the newspaper reports. Fresh milk sales declined by 2 million liters (1.2%) in the first two quarters of 2014 according to a market research company IRI compared to the same period in 2013, while evaporated milk has seen its sales grow by 0.2% during the same period.