Community News

Supermarket milk levy an insult to farmers

NSW Farmers’ Association says retailers must end the discounting of dairy products if they are serious about supporting dairy farmers.

Last week Coles and Woolworths both announced 10 cent levies on top of their dollar-a litre milk designed to go back to help farmers during drought.

Chair of the NSW Farmers’ Dairy Committee Erika Chesworth says the ‘’milk levy’’ is not a long term solution to the dairy crisis, and is urging Coles and Woolworths to pay farmers what they deserve.

“The milk levy is an insult to farmers.  Farmers are completely disillusioned by these announcements and morale has plummeted, with many considering how they can continue.

“The supermarkets have a responsibility to treat farmers fairly. Farmers need to be able to receive fair prices in both good and bad years to ensure they have good business resilience and that we have a sustainable dairy industry.

“Dairy farmers are doing it tough at the moment and the big supermarkets must show leadership to ensure farmers receive fair prices and the industry is sustainable, but their response has just been a marketing ploy.

“We have grave concerns that dairy farmers will not actually receive any benefits from the announced price increases.

“Farmers know the proposed drought relief range will divert sales away from branded products and are very concerned about it further diminishing the value within the dairy supply chain. There is no guarantee it will go to dairy farmers as it is flowing through drought relief funds”.

NSW Farmers is calling for an end to discounting of all dairy products to ensure dairy farmers are able to risk proof their business and to ensure a sustainable industry.

“We demand supermarkets come on board and put in place real change for all dairy to rectify the damage caused by last week’s announcements and before the supply of fresh dairy products is further eroded,” Ms Chesworth concluded.