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Coles and Aldi must join Woolies in milk armistice: WA Nats

The Nationals WA have called on Coles and Aldi to join Woolworths in ceasing sales of $1 per litre milk.

Woolworths announced this week it will now charge consumers $1.10 per litre for milk, with the extra money going directly to farmers.

Mr de Grussa welcomed the move by Woolworths, however he said there was still a long way to go.

“When the big supermarkets introduced $1 milk in 2011 it devastated the dairy industry and left many farmers struggling to survive,” Mr de Grussa said.

“I congratulate Woolworths on being the first of the big supermarkets to finally recognise how much our dairy farmers are hurting and increasing the price of milk to support the long term sustainability of the industry.

“Other major supermarkets continue to sell milk at $1 per litre, and I urge them to follow in Woolworths footsteps.

“It’s a small change but it makes a world of difference to those in the industry.”

Mr de Grussa said the egg industry was similarly suffering, with high feed prices due to the Eastern States drought pushing many egg producers to the brink.

“At the same time, the big supermarkets are demanding egg producers reduce their prices to supply eggs,” he said. “I would urge the supermarkets to come to their senses and accept that cost increases beyond the control of producers cannot simply be absorbed”.

The Nationals WA lead Senate candidate Nick Fardell said that a 2018 Australian Competition and Consumer Commission report into the dairy industry highlighted the significant imbalances in bargaining power at each level of the dairy supply chain.

“The dairy industry has shrunk dramatically in the last 10 years. Between $1 milk and extreme weather conditions across the country, they’ve taken a huge hit,” Mr Fardell said.

“The Nationals have long lobbied for fairer pay and contracts for dairy farmers, and I’m pleased to see Woolworths take this on board.  

“The Nationals will always fight for a better deal for regional Australia.”