The Australian dairy industry is in crisis. While we do not like to scaremonger, the reality is that Queensland, much of NSW and probably the WA dairy industries won’t be around in a few years if things stay as they are.
When Coles introduced $1/litre milk in 2011, the minimum price of milk was $1.30. For the other supermarkets to stay competitive, they followed suit and now all supermarkets stock a $1/litre line. Not only did this introduction knock 30 cents off the minimum price, the processors were forced to reduce the cost of their branded milk to stay competitive.
Factor in inflation over the past seven years, we are talking about a 60 cent discrepancy on 2011 prices.
Based on an average volume sold per annum of 2.55 billion litres over seven years, this equates to a $10 billion-plus loss to the dairy industry.
It is a staggering sum and goes a long way to explain why our dairy industry is hurting so much.
QDO’s campaign for a 10 cent/litre Drought Levy has had a terrific response from the public with now over 100,000 signatures on the petition on change.org as well as the support via our social media channels. We have been receiving phone calls and emails from everyday mums and dads wanting to know what more they can do to get this 10 cent increase through. It has been truly heartening to see so many people wanting to support our industry.
We particularly want to thank the media who have continued to run the story and continue to support this week’s message: If Coles won’t support the levy, we’re asking the public not to support Coles.
The value of the media’s support cannot be understated. They have helped make something that could have been a flash-in-the-pan story into something that continues to gain momentum, two weeks in.
When QDO initiated the campaign, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that he would support the levy, if Coles was on board.
That our newly appointed leader would say such a thing, truly demonstrates just how much power we have allowed the supermarkets to acquire.
3GB host Ben Fordham went out on a limb last week, when he interviewed QDO member Jo Bradley. For 8 ½ minutes, Ben and Jo berated supermarket giant Coles regarding their continued disinclination to support this levy.
The media will have no doubt been receiving pressure if not outright threats since Coles is one of the biggest advertisers in Australia, so we are truly appreciative of their ongoing support.