The National Farmers’ Federation has warmly welcomed a move by Coles to increase the price of its private label milk by 10 cents per litre on two and three litre products with the entire increase to be passed on to farmers.
“Australian dairy farmers have been suffering under a range of financial pressures for too long,” NFF CEO Tony Mahar said.
“There can be no doubt that the introduction of $1 milk in 2011 has had a demoralising and negative impact on the Australian dairy industry.
“This hardship has been exasperated recently with drought conditions making feed and water scarce and grain prices sky high.”
The announcement by Coles is a good move and follows a decision by Woolworths last month to indefinitely scrap $1 per litre milk.
Mr Mahar said he hoped all retailers would make $1 milk history.
“There’s no doubt that the advent of one dollar per litre milk on our supermarket shelves has contributed to the severe challenges faced by many farmers. Some have been pushed to the brink.
“It is time for the unrealistic price regime to end, for good. Farmers, and fair-minded shoppers, expect it.”
Mr Mahar recognised Federal Agriculture and Water Minister, David Littleproud for his ‘dogged commitment’ to demanding a rational approach from retailers and a more sustainable pricing regime.
“Minister Littleproud has been outspoken in calling out the ramifications of $1 milk for farmers and Australia’s entire dairy sector.
“Today’s good news reflects these efforts, together with a coordinated approach by the industry’s peak body, Australian Dairy Farmers.”
Mr Mahar said the dairy industry continued to face difficulties and an increase in the supermarket price, while whole-heartedly welcomed, was not a silver bullet.
“The implementation of the Mandatory Dairy Code of Conduct, agreed to last year by Government and industry, is crucial.
“This move by the retailers and the implementation of the Code will go some way towards rebuilding confidence in the Australian dairy sector and an equitable and sustainable relationship across the supply chain.
“There is no doubt there are challenges at the moment, but the Australian dairy industry has a bright future.
“With improvements such as these; improved market access opportunities and ongoing collaboration across the supply chain, we look forward to a turnaround in the outlook for dairy farmers,” Mr Mahar said.