Cautious welcome of Coles dairy move

NSW Farmers Association has cautiously welcomed today’s announcement by Coles to create an independent fund to support Murray Goulburn dairy suppliers who have suffered through the company’s step down.

NSW Farmers has been engaging with Coles’ Executive team on this issue and looks forward to future consultation.

“We welcome any leadership at the retail level that supports our southern dairy farmers during this difficult time,” said Chair of NSW Farmers Dairy Committee Rob McIntosh.

“While this fund may go some way towards addressing the current crisis of price cuts and claw backs threatening the livelihoods of farmers; it is important to note that this is only one part of a wider conversation regarding the sustainability of the industry. Farmers need long term investment in proprietary brands as uptake of these products will enable processors to reinvest margins into research and development for new and existing products which will drive stronger farm gate returns,” he said.

“Not all consumers want to pay more for proprietary brands, but those who do have the thanks of farmers. 

“As has been pointed out in this debate, milk is currently cheaper than bottled water and no one would give that a pass mark through the pub test. 

“Any price improvement in fresh milk is welcome and I hope that other retailers consider their position.

“More broadly, I would hope this current focus on milk prices provides a fresh opportunity for the ACCC’s Agricultural Engagement Unit to take a fresh look at a long standing problem. 

“Dairy farmers in Australia work hard to produce local and fresh milk. It is important that the price they receive reflects the time and effort they put into that production.

Contact: Michael Burt

Phone: 0428 228 988

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