Farmers celebrate as Woolworths, Coles raise milk prices: 'Never seen this'

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·News Reporter
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Woolworths and Coles have announced they will raise home brand milk prices from this week in yet another blow to household budgets.

The latest price hike is a welcome move for dairy farmers, who stand to benefit from the increases as the supermarkets will pay them more for their product amid rising operation costs.

Coles has already adjusted the price tags of its home brand milk to reflect the new prices, with Woolworths to follow from today.

Milk bottles in supermarket; Woolworths truck alongside Coles supermarket
Woolworths and Coles will raise home brand milk prices from this week, which is welcome news to dairy farmers. Source: Getty

Supermarket shoppers can expect to pay $1.60 for a litre of home brand milk, $3.10 for two litres and $4.50 for a three-litre bottle from the retailers.

It's an increase of 25 cents on the one-litre, 50 cents for two litres and a 60-cent rise on three-litre bottles.

Coles will also increase the cost of its long-life UHT milk by 25 cents from $1.35 to $1.60.

Coles, Woolworths respond to milk price hike

Coles Chief Commercial Officer Leah Weckert said in a statement that the supermarket remains committed to delivering value to its customers, despite the latest price hike.

"Raising prices is never something we do lightly, however the increased supply chain costs we are seeing, including higher payments to dairy farmers and processors, have necessitated these increases," Ms Weckert said.

Coles milk fridge in supermarket
Coles says it remains committed to delivering value to its customers, despite the latest price hike of milk. Source: Getty

"The feedback we've received from farmers and processors following the recent increases in farm-gate 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."

Woolworths to adjust own-brand milk in coming days

A Woolworths spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia that their increased milk prices in their stores reflect higher wholesale costs across the industry.

"The farmgate prices paid to dairy farmers have risen significantly this season, and as a result we're paying our own brand suppliers more for milk," they said.

Woolworths trolleys lined up outside store
Woolworths says the increased milk prices in their stores reflect higher wholesale costs across the industry. Source: AAP

"Across the dairy cabinet, brands have already increased their retail prices to reflect higher wholesale costs across the entire industry.

"We'll be adjusting the price of our own Woolworths brand milk in the coming days to reflect these higher costs as well."

First time for dairy farmers

Australian Dairy Farmers President Rick Gladigau said the price hike marks the first time farmers have ever dictated milk prices.

"I've been in the industry for 40 years and I'd never seen this. This time it's different," Gladigau previously told Yahoo News Australia.

He said that dairy farmers have been under the hammer over transport and other costs, so the increase is good news for the industry – which has seen a 3.5 per cent drop in production, due to rising supply costs and labour shortages.

He said: "The milk pricing has well exceeded what we thought was going to happen."

Milk is the latest in a long list of grocery staples to increase in price, joining staples such as lettuce, cheese, bread, and chicken.

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