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Coles increases price of its own brand milk

Coles increases retail price of milk
(Source: Coles)

Coles has increased the price of its milk by nearly 20 per cent in a move that has relieved farmers, but already irritated some customers. The supermarket said it was necessary to raise the price due to the rising cost of sourcing, transportation, and packaging. 

Coles Brand Fresh White Milk 1L bottles will increase by 25c, 2L bottles by 50c, and 3L bottles by 60c, while the Coles Brand UHT White Milk 1L bottles will increase by 25c.

Michael Hampson, CEO of dairy co-operative Norco, which supplies the Coles brand Milk in Southern Queensland and Northern NSW, said that the increased farmgate price significantly impacted dairy farmers. 

“Through our long-term partnership with Coles, we have been able to support our 300 farmer members with a record farm-gate milk price increase across the total 200 million litres that our members supply to our 100 per cent farmer-owned co-operative,” he said.

“This is especially important as farmers face pressures from rising production costs, with many still recovering from the devastating impacts of recent unprecedented weather events.”

Last month, Coles signed updated contracts with 100 Australian dairy farms to supply milk directly for its brand, including an increase in the farmgate price paid by the company, with multi-year contracts for farmers. 

In addition, the company has agreed to significant increases in wholesale prices in markets where Coles Brand milk is sourced from processors, as the farmgate price the company pays to dairy farmers has substantially risen.

However, the recent increase in milk prices isn’t being taken lightly by consumers. A recent post on a Facebook group, “Simple Savers”, shared a picture of a carton of 3L milk with a $4.50 price tag that received hundreds of reactions.

Some members in the group pointed out that $4.50 was still cheap for milk, while others said it was “ridiculous” with prices that keep climbing.

Leah Weckert, chief commercial officer for Coles, said raising prices is something that the company never takes lightly. However, the increased supply-chain costs, including higher payments to dairy farmers and processors, had forced the company’s hand.

“The feedback we’ve received from farmers and processors following the recent increases in farmgate and wholesale prices has been very positive, and we hope customers will help us continue to support them by purchasing their great quality Australian milk,” she added.

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