Supermarket giants Aldi and Woolworths have increased the price of their home brand milk, but it remains unclear if the extra profits will benefit farmers.
German retailer Aldi added 10 cents per litre to its milk on Wednesday, with Woolworths following suit on Friday – meaning customers will now be paying $1.29 for a one-litre bottle.
In a statement to Starts at 60, Woolworths said the price increase would come into effect immediately. The price of two-litre milk will increase to $2.39, while the three-litre bottle will cost buyers $3.59.
The supermarket chain said the recent price hikes were due to increases in farmgate milk prices.
Farmgate prices – the prices that processors are required to pay farmers for their milk – have been increasing since February. In turn, this has resulted in supermarkets having to pay more to processors for milk and dairy products, which has now resulted in them hiking up prices in their stores.
“Since February we have seen farmgate prices increase significantly and they’re forecast to continue rising throughout the year,” a Woolworths spokesperson said.
“As a result of these farmgate price movements, we have been paying our suppliers even more for milk and other dairy products across the category over recent months.
“Due to these ongoing whole-of-market cost pressures, we have reviewed and adjusted the price of Woolworths Milk.”
Woolworths, however, did not say if the latest increase would benefit farmers.
Meanwhile, an Aldi spokesperson confirmed to Starts at 60 that “these price rises are the direct result of the recent increase in the farm gate milk prices agreed between our milk suppliers and the dairy farmers”.
The spokesperson added: “We do not take price increases lightly, however these movements are necessary for building a long term sustainable Australian dairy industry.”
Meanwhile, Coles has since confirmed they will also be increasing the retail price of their home brand milk starting tomorrow.
“Coles works closely with the dairy processors who supply Coles Brand milk,” a spokesperson told Starts at 60.
“Following a review of market conditions and rising cost pressures across the industry, we have taken the decision to increase the retail price of Coles Brand milk.”
It comes after Woolworths and Aldi, along with Coles, ditched their own $1-per-litre milk in March to help struggling Australian dairy farmers. Woolworths was also the first Australian supermarket to launch Drought Relief Milk back in September 2018.