All dairy farmers must see a benefit from any increase in retail milk prices, says the country’s dairy farmer group.
Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) voiced support for a move by Woolworths to introduce a special range of milk at $1.10c a litre to help drought-stricken farmers across Australia, but the farmer group has cautioned that the extra 10c must be distributed to all dairy farmers.
“Woolworths has announced this plan, but what we really need is clarity around how that extra 10c will be distributed back to the farm gate in a way that all dairy farmers will benefit,” ADF President Terry Richardson said.
“There are many regions of Australia affected by drought with high production costs impacting thousands of dairy farmers.
“We look forward to working with Woolworths on how this will work in practice.”
Coles also announced it will increase the price of its three litre Own Brand milk from $3 to $3.30 until the end of 2018, with the extra 30c to be diverted to the National Farmers’ Federation’s 2018 Drought Relief Fund.
Mr Richardson said drought relief milk is only a temporary measure and not a cure as ADF remains committed to pushing for a permanent end to discounted dairy products, including cheap cheese.
“You can’t justify a situation where a litre of milk is being sold on supermarket shelves for less than a litre of water and this must practice must stop. We urgently need a shared solution to assist in building the long-term sustainability of Australian dairy farmers,” Mr Richardson said.
Mr Richardson encouraged the public to help dairy farmers by continuing to buy branded dairy products.
“Farmers put tireless effort and resources into producing quality product and to see it devalued has a deep and lasting impact,” he said.
“There is a groundswell of support for farmers hit hard by the drought and supermarkets have the best opportunity to scrap their discounted dairy products.
“We urge Woolworths to include ADF on their Drought Relief Oversight Committee to ensure the national voice is heard.”