An Aussie dairy farmer has praised supermarket giants for making the move and increasing the price of their own brand milk in a bid to help drought-stricken farmers across the country.
After years of struggling to get by with $1 milk sold throughout Australia, farmers are breathing a sigh of relief as Coles and Aldi follow in competitor Woolworths lead and introduce a 10 cent per litre price hike.
Speaking to Channel Nine’s A Current Affair this week, Queensland dairy farmer Peter Garrat explained although the increase may not seem like much, it will make a huge difference to those in need.
Sharing details of his own struggles in what he believes to be an undervalued industry, the farmer said he has already benefitted greatly from the price increase introduced by Woolworths last month.
“I can guarantee you it’s made a huge difference to my bottom line,” he said on the program which aired on Wednesday night.
“You find it’s valued less than water. To put the effort in and do what we do and get basically ripped off.. it takes its toll. It’s taken its toll on our industry big time.”
Australian Dairy Farmers Chief Executive Officer David Inall also welcomed the price increase, calling on other supermarkets such as IGA and Costco to also introduce the added 10 cent per litre.
“We’re seeing milk production in Australia under significant pressure – more needs to be done on a whole range of fronts,” he told A Current Affair.
“Farmers don’t want to be seen to be complaining, they just want a fair price for a fair day’s work.”
Their comments follow news on Wednesday that Coles and Aldi have introduced the price increase to their own brand milk.
Both chains said the price change would come into effect immediately in hopes of alleviating financial pressure for struggling farmers. The two-litre milk increase to $2.20, while the three-litre milk will cost buyers $3.30.
The announcement came after the Coles initially decided against following Woolworth’s suit after they increased milk prices by 10 cents per litre in February.
Speaking about the supermarket’s price change Coles Group Chief Executive Officer Steven Cain said they will work with dairy processors to ensure the benefit of the retail price increase will go directly to the dairy farmers who supply Coles Brand milk.
“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,” he said in a statement.
While Aldi Managing Director of Buying Oliver Bongardt claimed it was time to pass on this higher price to consumers, after accepting cost increases from milk processors to cater for drought and associated issues in the past few months.
“Our decision to increase fresh milk prices has been reached in recognition of the significant issues currently impacting the dairy industry and the fact that broader government-led policy reform is unlikely to occur in the short-term,” he said in a statement.