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Wed, 12 Sep, 2018Basmah Qazi

“This is our one chance to survive”: Dairy farmers plead with shoppers to boycott Coles

“This is our one chance to survive”: Dairy farmers plead with shoppers to boycott Coles

Dairy farmers are pleading with the public to boycott Coles amid claims that the supermarket is failing to comply with their request to increase the price of milk by 10 cents.

Queensland dairy farmer, Joe Bradley, said that while there is increasing pressure from the public and support for the dairy industry, Coles has not agreed to meet their request.

Woolworths has agreed to raise the price if other supermarkets follow.

“What we’re asking people is if Coles doesn’t support local dairy farmers, don’t support Coles,” Mr Bradley told Sunrise.

“Don’t shop at Coles, please, this is our one chance to survive.”

Mr Bradley says that he cannot wrap his head around as to why Coles won’t get on board to “make sure the dairy industry has a future.”

Consumers are being asked to pay 10 extra cents for milk to help support drought-affected farmers.

The Queensland Dairy Organisation (QDO) is currently fighting for supermarkets to drop their “dollar-a-litre” range to help save struggling farmers.

The petition has called for the increase in price and for processors such as Parmalat, Norco and Lion to give the proceeds back to the farmers.

“It wouldn’t amount to 10 cents back at the farm gate, but it would be closer to six to seven cents back at the farm gate price,” QDO president Brian Tessmann told the ABC.

“Farmers are really suffering and there are guys who have come to the end of their tether and have basically said ‘someone please come and take my cows.’”

Mr Tessmann said: “It’s the farmers that have suffered with the drought and we’ve been locked into $1 a litre as an anchor of the price since 2011.”

Robert Miller, a dairy farmer from NSW said that the “dollar-a-litre” milk range found at leading supermarkets has hurt the industry more than the drought.

“The cost of milk, just to source the feed alone, is $1.30 per litre,” he said.

Mr Miller has campaigned against the cheap milk by posting signs on the front of his dairy farm, as he says it’s “killing farmers.”

He has been forced to sell his cattle to China and Japan for the past few years just to keep his business afloat.

But according to Mr Miller, selling overseas is no longer a viable option.

“I’ve more than had enough. I’m going broke,” Mr Miller said.

Mr Miller believes that 50 per cent of dairy farmers will be broke by Christmas.

Their only saviour will be an increase in prices or the end of the drought, and neither seems likely.

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