For years the Australian supermarkets have been battling with the dairy industry over milk prices. For the first time in years, Woolworths are looking at increasing the cost of their home brand milk—raising it by 10c a litre. The decision to increase the price of their milk was made to aid struggling farmers.
For a long time, the dairy industry in Australia complained that the $1-a-litre price that supermarkets sold milk for was unreasonable. Federal agriculture minister David Littleproud said that he hopes the decision was the beginning of the end for Australia’s “$1 milk disaster.”
Woolworths group CEO, Brad Banducci said, “This is affecting milk production and farm viability, which is devastating for farmers and the regional communities in which they live. It’s clear something needs to change, and we want to play a constructive role in making this happen.”
“We believe the long-term sustainability of our dairy industry—and the regional communities they help support—is incredibly important for Australia.”
Coles was the first supermarket to cut the price of milk to $1-a-litre. The first move was made in January of 2011, and competitor supermarkets were quick to match the prices. Coles and Aldi have each made other efforts to assist farmers—especially given the current flooding situation—however, neither have matched Woolworth’s switch to the increased milk prices.
“We believe it’s the right thing to do and a key step in shoring up fresh milk production in Australia,” said Banducci, “[and] we’ll continue to work very hard to offer great value to our customers across their total shop.”