Dairy

Supermarket rations milk

By Country News

A NSW supermarket temporarily introduced milk rationing because of a shortage of supply from a local processor.

Farmer Charlies, based at Lismore, posted a notice in its stores in February limiting sales of Family Farm branded milk to four, two-litre bottles.

The rationing followed a letter from the Norco Co-operative, advising of potential shortages of certain lines of milk due to the weather conditions and cost of water for farmers.

The rationing has since been dropped as supplies had recovered, the supermarket told Country News.

In the week of February 21, Norco advised its commercial customers that there had been a ‘‘significant drop in milk production, translating to a temporary shortage’’ in the availability of generic whole milk lines.

‘‘Although supply demands will vary from week to week, Norco will endeavour to continually provide updates on production and availability,’’ the circular said.

The Lismore store manager of Farmer Charlies, who did not wish to be named, said the store had applied the limit but had since removed it once supplies had recovered.

However, he said it was not possible to guarantee it would not occur again, as there were continuing difficult conditions for the dairy industry.

The manager said customers of the rural city seemed to understand the problems facing dairy farmers.

He said the store was getting regular supplies of other milk.

Dairy Australia’s latest Situation and Outlook report showed national milk production was down five per cent up to the end of December.