Supermarkets Coles and Aldi have announced they will increase the price of their private label milk by 10 cents per litre, following public pressure to end the $1 litre milk pricing.
Coles said the dairy industry needs structural reform and believes that the price increase alone will “not solve structural challenges facing Australia’s dairy industry”.
Peak dairy farmer group Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) praised Coles for the move.
“Coles has made the right decision to increase the price of its discount milk brand and they should be commended for their initiative in working to end this price-freezing practice,” ADF chief executive David Inall said.
“Farming families put tireless effort and resources into producing a quality product and there is no question that supermarket discounting has had an incredibly demoralising and negative financial impact on the Australian dairy industry over the last eight years."
The price of Coles Brand two litre milk will rise to $2.20, with three litres rising to $3.30 as a result of the increase.
Chief executive officer of advocacy group Dairy Connect, Shaughn Morgan said, “We need to ensure a strong Australian dairy industry with a fair farm-gate price, above the cost of production, to ensure a long-term sustainable Australian dairy industry.”
Dairy Connect supports further structural reform and said they look forward to discussing how this might be achieved with the Federal Minister for Agriculture, David Littleproud and Shadow Minister Joel Fitzgibbon in the lead-up to the Federal election.
Coles has promised to work with dairy processors to ensure that the benefit of this retail price increase will go directly to the dairy farmers who supply Coles Brand milk to our customers.
“Coles sources 100 per cent of our Coles Brand fresh milk from Australian farmers, many of whom are struggling as the impact of drought compounds ongoing challenges in the dairy industry,” Coles Group chief executive officer Steven Cain said.
“Coles supports proposals to make Australia’s dairy industry more sustainable, and we are continuing to explore long-term solutions with government and industry stakeholders.
“However we know that many dairy farmers cannot wait for structural reform to be delivered so we are moving to provide relief right now.”
See next week's Country News for more.