Woolworths axes $1-a-litre milk after mounting pressure from farmers

Woolworths will stop selling milk for $1 a litre, bumping up the price by 10 cents with the increase to go to struggling dairy farmers.

Woolworths-branded two and three litres bottles will sell for $2.20 and $3.30 respectively from Tuesday.

It said the increase would “end up” with the 450 Australian dairy farmers that supply Woolworths, and the change was about ensuring the nation has a viable dairy industry.

The industry has been campaigning against cheap milk sold by Woolworths and Coles for years, saying it’s driven farmers to the wall.

Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) association said it had been in discussions with Woolworths for recent months, and praised the supermarket chain for moving away from $1 a litre milk.

“Woolworths should be applauded for having the courage to phase out its $1 milk line, and it is now time for other retailers to immediately do the same. No ifs, no buts,” the ADF said in a statement.

Woolworths will stop selling its milk for $1-a-litre from Tuesday
Woolworths will stop selling its milk for $1-a-litre from Tuesday

Last year, Woolworths began offering a “Drought Relief Milk” range, at $1.10 a litre for its 3-litre carton, with the extra 30 cents to go to farmers, but the $1 a litre milk was still available in other sizes.

That will end on Tuesday when all stores will move to the higher price.

“We’ve heard the outlook will continue to be extremely tough for dairy farmers right across the country,” Woolworths Group chief executive Brad Banducci said on Monday.

“This is affecting milk production and farm viability, which is devastating for farmers and the regional communities in which they live. It’s clear something needs to change and we want to play a constructive role in making this happen.”

Too little too late for some

Casey Treloar choked back tears as she announced that her family’s Fleurieu Peninsula farm would not last. Source: Twitter/Casey Treloar
Casey Treloar choked back tears as she announced that her family’s Fleurieu Peninsula farm would not last. Source: Twitter/Casey Treloar

The announcement comes just just one week after a South Australian dairy farmer shared a heartbreaking video revealing why her family has been forced to shut down their dairy farm after three-generations of work.

South Australian Casey Treloar choked back tears as she said her father’s life work on the farm near Parawa on the Fleurieu Peninsula was no longer sustainable.

“This is a video I hoped I wouldn’t ever have to film,” Ms Treloar said in a Facebook live.

“As many of you guys know the dairy industry is in a pretty tough spot. It’s something my dad has done his entire life and something I’ve loved doing my entire life since I’ve been involved.

See the full video here.

“But it has come to a point where our family, we’ve made the decision that that’s it for us.”
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