Woolworths milk levy raises $500,000 for farmers in three weeks

Woolies drought relief milk wideSupermarket giant Woolworths has already raised $500,000 for drought relief since it introduced a levy on its three litre milk in Queensland, New South Wales, ACT and Victoria on September 20, ahead of the arrival of its limited edition drought relief range this week.

From this week, customers in these four states will have the option to purchase a drought relief version of the store’s own brand Full Cream and Lite Milk varieties at $2.20 for two litres and $3.30 for three litres, with the extra 10 cents per litre going to dairy farmers that are struggling.

Woolworths director of Fresh Food Paul Harker said it’s “pleasing” to see customers get behind the initiative.

“With the introduction of a two litre variety and our drought relief labelling, we’re making it easier for more of our customers to support the effort if they have the means to do so,” Harker said.

“We’ve sent our first drought relief payment to Parmalat and will be working closely with them to ensure relief starts to flow through to drought-stricken dairy farmers as quickly as possible,” he added.

Parmalat will distribute monthly payments to more than 220 dairy farmers in New South Wales and Queensland with the independent oversight of its Drought Relief Committee from October 15. The committee includes Premium Milk Limited chairman Peter Jervis, Dairy Connect CEO Shaughn Morgan, Parmalat general manager – Supply Chain Vince Houlihan and an independent auditor from KPMG.

Funds will be based on the volume of milk they provide to Parmalat, with a minimum safety net of $1,000 per month for smaller farmers. Harker said that this effort “won’t fix the structural issues in the dairy industry” and noted that the Federal Government is pursuing reforms proposed by the ACCC.

“This effort is about providing much needed relief from the devastating effects of drought, while government and industry work through the reforms needed to sustain the sector longer term,” Harker said.

Woolworths will continue to provide 2L Full Cream and Woolworths 2L Lite Milk for customers at $2.

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