PEAK dairy farmer group Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) has supported today’s announcement by supermarket retailer Woolworths to extend its 10 cent per litre levy on discount milk.
“We’re pleased that Woolworths has made a public commitment to continue distributing an extra 10 cents per litre on its Home Brand milk back to farmers, but in the long term we want to see this initiative built into the farm gate milk price,” ADF chief executive David Inall said.
Woolworths said today in a statement that the retailer expected to contribute another $30 million to dairy farmers over the next 12 months, on top of the $50 million already delivered.
The retailer first raised the price of its generic milk line by 10 cents per litre in 2018, with the full increase going back to dairy farmers who were coping with the devastating impacts of drought. Woolworths later committed to continue the arrangement in February 2019.
“We are now looking for Coles, ALDI and other retailers to follow Woolworths’ lead and publicly state their commitment to continue their arrangements,” Mr Inall said.
ADF, in a submission last year to the Senate inquiry into the performance of the dairy industry since deregulation, recommended that the price of generic milk brands be raised to $1.50 per litre until changes are made to the Food and Grocery Code to establish appropriate value distribution up the supply chain to dairy farmers
“If we are to stop farm exits and hardship, then all retailers need to increase the price of their store brand retail fresh milk to $1.50 per litre with the increase going back to farmers via their processors,” Mr Inall said.
Mr Inall said ADF also looked forward to working with Woolworths on future initiatives to maintain a sustainable dairy industry, including a new $5 million fund to provide infrastructure and technology grants to dairy farmers to help improve on-farm efficiency and profitability.
“This new fund is obviously welcome and Woolworths has committed to engage with dairy industry stakeholders on the design of the new program, so we look forward to working with them wherever we can,” he said.
Ashley Mackinnon, Public Affairs Manager
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