Woolworths and Coles increase milk price in support of drought-affected farmers

Woolworths and Coles have led the way for national supermarkets by increasing the price of milk amid mounting pressure to help ease the financial struggle the dairy industry faces during the current drought period.

The supermarket giants announced they would raise the price of its 3L store-branded milk by 30 cents across all their stores nationwide from Thursday.

Woolworths said the hike would be a short-term measure, running through to October and will give a boost to farmer’s worst hit by the drought. Coles will run the $3.30 price until the end of the year.

Woolworths and Coles announced from Thursday they would increase the price of 3L milk by 30 cents for affected dairy farmers. Source: Sunrise
Woolworths and Coles announced from Thursday they would increase the price of 3L milk by 30 cents for affected dairy farmers. Source: Sunrise

“Coles has always supported our Aussie farmers. We have an Australia First Sourcing Policy and all of our fresh milk is 100% Australian,” a Coles spokesperson said.

Customers will be able to purchase the Drought Relief range which will have been sourced directly from farmers in affected areas. Consumers will have the option to purchase store-branded milk without the donation added.

The price of 2L and 1L varieties will remain the same, with the 10 cent per litre rise only added to it’s $3.00 option.

The extra 30 cents is due to be paid to suppliers who will then pass it on to those in need.

“100% of this increase will be donated to farmers affected by drought,” a Coles spokesperson said.

Supermarkets had previously been reluctant to increase the price of milk to help farmers, with concerns where the money would end up. Source: Getty
Supermarkets had previously been reluctant to increase the price of milk to help farmers, with concerns where the money would end up. Source: Getty

Woolworths had previously said they would only move to increase the price of milk if other supermarkets accompanied them.

Coles and Woolworths had previously been wary of increasing the cost of milk following an ACCC report from May that found no guarantee price rises in store would flow on to farmers.

The report instead showed the processor, a middle man between farmers and supermarkets, was responsible for an “imbalance in bargaining power at each level of the dairy supply chain”.

An IGA store in NSW took matters into their own hands earlier this month by increasing the price of milk and directly supporting affected farmers in their region.

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