Victorian farmers have applauded Coles Supermarkets’ decision to set up a support fund for farmers hit by processor cuts to their milk price.
Victorian Farmers Federation President Peter Tuohey contacted Coles Managing Director John Durkan to discuss a range of support measures, including delivering a share of milk sales revenue to a support fund for dairy farmers.
“It’s great to see Coles responding to the VFF’s call with a practical move that shows they appreciate the need to support farmers,” Mr Tuohey said.
“It’s a credit to Mr Durkan that he’s stepped up to the mark and acted quickly to establish the fund, injecting $1 million of Coles’ money to get it started.”
The initiative will be similar to arrangements Coles has in South Australia and Western Australia, where a share of branded milk revenue goes to projects that support local dairy farmers.
Coles will establish an independent committee to oversee the fund and Mr Tuohey said the VFF and its dairy section, the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria, looked forward to sitting on the fund’s advisory committee.
“The dairy industry, like all agricultural industries, is vitally important to the Australian economy, so this initiative is about consumers and industry coming together to support farmers,” Mr Tuohey said.
The VFF believes the plan is positive news for the industry during an otherwise difficult time.