Agriculture Minister Senator Bridget McKenzie welcomed the outcome of an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) inquiry into whether Coles passed on in full to Norco dairy farmers the 10 cent a litre price rise it charged customers for Coles branded two and three litre fresh milk.
“I am even more delighted that these dairy farmers, from northern New South Wales and Queensland, will receive their share of the $5.25 million owed before Christmas and will be receiving an extra 10.5 cents per litre going forward,” Minister McKenzie said.
“The Liberal and Nationals Government invested an extra $8.1 million in the ACCC’s agriculture unit, creating a dairy specialist role so that competition law could be adequately policed.
“This outcome is good for our dairy farmers and a great demonstration of competition law regulation at work.
“The ACCC conducted an investigation into whether Coles fully passed on to Norco dairy farmers the 10 cents a litre price rise it charged its customers for Coles branded two and three litre milk.
“It beggars belief, given the volume of marketing material and media coverage Coles received when it applied the 10 cents to its two and three litre products, that the commitment was honoured for just 11 days.
“In what the ACCC characterised as “an egregious breach of the Australian consumer law” Coles used a previously agreed price increase to offset the 10 cents a litre promised so that farmers actually received 3.5 cents more while customers paid 10 cents.
“Consumers who thought they were supporting farmers were being duped.
“I’m pleased that the ACCC will continue to closely monitor Coles and it has not ruled out future litigation if necessary.
“The supermarkets must ensure our dairy farmers are paid properly for their safe, nutritious and delicious milk.”
Source: Australian Government