Government steps in to protect dairy farmers affected by milk cuts

The Federal Government is set to announce a major assistance package for dairy farmers affected by the recent milk price
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The Federal Government is set to announce a major assistance package for dairy farmers affected by the recent milk price cuts.

If you’ve been following this issue you would be aware that many dairy farmers across the country have been left hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt after the largest dairy processor in Australia, Murray Goulburn, and New Zealand processor, Fronterra, slashed prices within a week of each other.

Murray Goulburn blamed its cuts on changes in the exchange rate, lower than expected adult milk powder sales in China and a downward spiral in the value of the milk supplies it owns when it cut the $5.60 per kilogram price for milk solids to between $4.75 and $5 per kilogram.

Fronterra says its price cut was the result of a “supply and demand imbalance”, which led to prices falling from $5.60 per kilogram to $5.

Governments and social media got behind Australian dairy farmers, with a push to abandon the cheap home brand of milk available in supermarkets and corner stores across the country. It worked, with shelves quickly becoming empty of the dairy farmer products while less expensive litres remained aplenty.

Facing enormous pressure to ‘do something’ the Federal Government is likely to introduce concessional loans among the measures it will announce.

It follows the Victorian Government’s $11.4 million offer to struggling dairy farmers, which includes provisions for mental health support.

Starts at 60 will provide an update on this story once this announcements have been made.

What should governments be doing to protect Australian dairy farmers? Have you seen the effect of the social media campaign to support dairy farmers in your supermarkets? Share your photos with us.

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