Coles, we are not going to back down

Coles, we are not going to back down


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It seems QDO’s 10 cent/litre Drought Levy campaign has had terrific support from everyone but the supermarkets.

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QDO’s campaign for a 10 cent/litre Drought Levy has gained spectacular support from not only from everyday Australians, but politicians and the media as well.

A few people have asked why we did not aim higher with, say, a 20 cent/litre for the Drought Levy or to petition for the permanent end to $1 litre discounted milk.

The rationale is quite simple. Since $1 litre was first introduced by Coles in 2011, the dairy industry has been scrambling to get back on its feet. Through organisations such as ours, we have been in ongoing talks with the retailers and processors to change the market situation, to no avail. As much as it pains us, we have been expecting too much from corporate fat cats who saw no reason to re-evaluate a poor decision that could only lead to the demise of the Australian dairy industry.

Until this point the industry has been focused changing things only through the processor and retailer. We had forgotten the most powerful player in the game – the consumer. The consumer is the everyday Australian who through their purchasing power, has the influence to change our industry – to make it once again sustainable.

The petition started on Monday last week, and today, the signature count reached over 72,000. The online support on social media is heartening to see but we still have Coles holding out – citing that it is not in the best interests of their customers.

This is not just about Queensland and NSW; it is a nationwide campaign to alleviate the financial burden on all dairy farmers due to our ongoing drought.

It was terrific to have Parmalat (Pauls brands) and Norco step up and support the campaign. With two of the major processor players on board, it is now a matter of getting the supermarkets to agree.

Woolworths have said that they will take on the 10cent/litre levy if all other retailers come on board. While it is disappointing that they were unprepared to take the full leadership position it is better than its competitor Coles, who firstly hid behind the ACCC report and is now hiding behind their aid campaign. QDO has no intention of letting this Drought Levy slide into the abyss. We’ve had fantastic support from our friends in the media – giving us national coverage which we thank them for.

We have a battle plan in place and we are only seven days into that plan. If the supermarkets think that they can hide until this goes away, they’ll be hiding for a very long time.

The petition can be found on change.org by searching 10 cent Drought Levy or via this link:  https://www.change.org/p/petition-coles-woolworths-for-a-10-cent-per-litre-drought-levy-on-all-milk-brands 

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