Coles must immediately commit to continuing its drought milk payment to farmers and Aldi needs to stop acting like a foreign company with no care, Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said today.
Coles has finally announced a $3.9 million payment to farmers from its very narrow ten cent milk levy, months after introducing it. Coles did not use the processor, which actually sources the milk from the farmers, to deliver the money to the farmers in the appropriate amounts.
Aldi has continued to do exactly nothing for farmers. Instead it wants the government to introduce a levy. Minister Littleproud said the big German should understand in Australia, good corporate citizens simply do the right thing – they don’t need Government to impose it on them.
The other two Australian retailers have at least tried.
“Coles announced a drought levy and it’d be disgraceful to withdraw it a few months later while the drought intensifies,” Minister Littleproud said.
“The drought did not end on December 31 and neither should the levy.
“Coles’ customers want to help farmers and this just makes it harder. They should show their support for drought-hit communities by shopping somewhere else.
“Coles only introduced a drought payment because it had to follow Woolworths’ lead. Its half-hearted attempt did not include a proper payment process to make sure the farmers supplying the milk were paid per litre they supplied.
“Coles also made farmers jump through hoops to get this money and as a result many who are in need will miss out altogether.
“Aldi is worse. Aldi has done bugger all for farmers in drought.
“Coles and Aldi both need to show they give a damn about Aussie farmers.
“Woolworths isn’t perfect either but at least their levy is going to the farmers who supplied the milk and they show no sign of pulling it.
“I encourage consumers to shop with their feet for the good of Aussie farmers.”
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