Supermarket operators on the eastern seaboard have been warned that milk-price increases should be passed down the supply chain so dairy farmers get their fair share.
A statement from the newly-formed EastAusMilk, the brand adopted by the newly merged Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation and NSW’s Dairy Connect, suggests the body will be taking a more prominent role in advocacy moving forward.
EastAusMilk chair Matt Trace, the former VP of the QDO, said the significance of the body will be its strength in numbers and a unity of purpose.
Among the issues he singled out that the organisation will be pursuing is the fairness of consumer milk pricing.
“We must ensure that when increases in dairy prices occurs, such as that recently announced by the supermarkets for home-brand milk, that a part of that increase will be passed down the dairy value chain to ensure a win-win for all those involved in the dairy process.
“Supermarket customers have shown a strong willingness to support dairy farmers due to the high nutritional produce that dairy farmers supply to their processor but they need to be assured that when they pay that extra price at the supermarket checkout, the dairy farmer is receiving a fair share of that increased price,” said Trace.
“That is why EastAusMilk, with increased unified membership and stronger cross-state representation, can put forward strong policy advocacy to government, stakeholders and other interest groups about the importance of the dairy industry and its future to the Australian economy in the long-term.”
The merged body has elected a board comprising members of both predecessor state organisations.
Gloucester NSW dairy farmer Graham Forbes was elected vice-chair and will be joined on the board by James Geraghty, Gary Wenzel, Waylon Barron, and Ruth Kydd.
“The Australian dairy industry is a crossroads and being united and speaking with one voice will ensure long-term sustainability and a viable dairy industry for future generations of dairy farmers,” said Forbes.