AUSTRALIAN Dairy Farmers (ADF) has secured a major victory in the fight against discount dairy products with Woolworths today agreeing to raise the price of its $1 per litre milk brand to $1.10, with the extra 10 cents to go directly back to farmers.
ADF and Woolworths have engaged in constructive discussions over recent months around the damage wrought on the dairy industry by $1 milk and other discount dairy products.
We understand that the decision to raise the price of a staple household food item was not easy to make, but it was unquestionably the right one.
Woolworths should be applauded for having the courage to phase out its $1 milk line, and it is now time for other retailers to immediately do the same. No ifs, no buts.
The dairy industry has suffered from the debilitating effects of $1 milk for eight years, since Australia Day 2011.
The latest National Dairy Farmer Survey found farmer confidence in the future of the dairy industry has dropped from 75 to 47 per cent over the past four years. Alarmingly, 40 per cent of dairy farmers did not make an operating profit in the 2016-17 financial year.
Removing $1 milk is not just intended to restore farmers’ financial confidence, but also boost confidence in regional communities and small businesses.
Farming families put tireless effort and resources into producing a quality product, day in and day out, and to see it devalued to the consumer has a deep and lasting impact.
Most shoppers are aware of how difficult the past few years have been for the dairy industry. We have been heartened by the outpouring of support from all Australians, wanting to know which brands they can buy to support farmers.
Consumers can continue to buy fresh milk from Woolworths knowing they are supporting the Australian farmers who supplied it.
We encourage consumers to support Woolworths and urge other retailers to immediately end $1 milk.