Why you could soon be paying more money for imported milk 11



View Profile

Anyone who has tasted Australian milk and also imported milk can agree that our Aussie milk has an incredibly amazing taste – sweet, creamy, fresh.

Unfortunately, we might soon have to pay more for milk and if the crisis in the Australian dairy industry does not improve, we could end up drinking expensive imports.

This happens as more farmers are shutting down their business as – low milk prices has led them to not even be able to afford water or the fertiliser to grow the grass to feed cows.

The dairy nightmare began at the end of April when Australia’s biggest milk processor, Murray Goulburn, slashed the price dairy farmers had been expecting for their milk.

Instead of the $6 a kilogram that farmers had been relying on for their milk solids, they were suddenly told they would be getting well under $5 a kilogram.

To add insult to injury, the farmers themselves would have to pay back the difference, a total of around $200 million between about 2,500 farmers.

It meant many dairy farmers were being paid less for their milk than it cost them to produce it — now, sending prize dairy cows to the saleyards for slaughter is the only way many farmers can pay their bills.

Livestock agent Phil McVilly, who deals with many of the local abattoirs, noticed the impact of the milk price cut almost immediately, with a record number of “chopper” cows being dropped off for sale within days of Murray Goulburn announcing its price cut.

Since the beginning of May, this one yard has been selling around 700 dairy cows a week to the abattoirs, and there is no sign of the sell-off slowing down.

Soon after Murray Goulburn announced its price cut to farmers, New Zealand dairy giant Fonterra cut its prices even further, spreading the pain across the whole industry, reports ABC News.

For some farmers, it is the end of dairying. One of them is Kathleen Johnston who will be turning out the lights in her dairy for the last time, in a few weeks.

Ms Johnston and her family spent eight years hand-rearing calves to build up their prime herd, but the crisis has led them to have made the agonising decision to give up on their dairy farm in Deniliquin in southern NSW.

Murray Goulburn’s price cut this year was bad enough, but the family has also been told that next year they will get even less for their milk; about $4.30 a kilogram.

“The very minute that we got the letter that said that’s what the price is going to be, we decided, ‘no, we can’t keep going like this’, that we would finish up,” Ms Johnston said.
She and her husband called their stock agent straight away.

“[We] made the phone call to the stock agent and said, ‘sell them up’,” she said.

Ms Johnston said she spent that night crying about the decision, and she is still teary.

“Just the thought of selling your babies … you have pets, so that was hard,” she said.

The Johnstons did not have much choice — they farm in tough country.

If they keep dairying, They have worked out that they will end up losing about $70,000 a year.

And at the milk price Murray Goulburn is offering, they will not be able to buy the water or fertiliser they need to grow the grass to feed their cows.

Do you think the government should step in and help our farmers?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. How can Murray Goulburn justify paying their CEO millions of dollars per year whilst paying their product suppliers less than the cost of production?
    This is just another example of total business disregard for good practice.
    Why do we allow Fronterra to operate here when they too are driving the Australian dairy industry to oblivion?
    Grow some balls Canberra and do something about this.

  2. I hope it’s clearly marked importerd so we can choose not to buy it. Our dairy farmers are driven out, feel for them.

    1 REPLY
    • I’d prefer the word ‘imported’…………

  3. Ban imported dairy products, or whack a f***g great excise on them. Our wimpy politicians who are only in the game to get their greedy snouts in the trough should be looking at ways to protect our primary producers.

  4. Trust all the consumers that happily paid $1 a liter at Woolies and Coles are now content. They will be paying a lot more in the future. We need our Federal politicians of both persuasions to act now.

    1 REPLY
    • Not everybody can afford to pay the higher prices. I know many of the pensioners are struggling so they have to buy what they can afford whether they want to or not

  5. I only by Farmers own milk so to support our local farmers.and am willing to pay a bit extra to get the quality product locally grown here in WA.The milk has so much flavour so give our locals a go

    Refuse to buy the cheap milk and support the big companies

  6. To even consider importing milk into our country is a betrayal of our hard-working farmers. It is way past time when our politicians stood up for their own people instead of pandering to foreign interests. The foreign investment review board needs to be sacked and an overhaul conducted with entirely new members before even more damage is done to Australia.

  7. Why not, we buy imported cars and kill our car industry, we use Uber and send all the profits to some overseas App company while the drivers make a pitence and drive our local taxi industry into the ground, we buy cheap imported stuff from Bunnings and Woolies and Coles, the general public want someone else to fix it but they don’t want to put the effort in themselves, unfortunately the local dairy industry is doomed! We will either be a third world country in 10 years, or a state of China!

  8. Balls in the political arena are needed. We are the Lucky Country soon to be the raped country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *