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Woolies Has Stopped Selling $1 Milk in Support of Aussie Dairy Farmers

Two- and three-litre varieties of its home-brand fresh milk have increased in price, with the extra money headed back into Aussie farmers' pockets.
By Libby Curran
February 19, 2019
By Libby Curran
February 19, 2019

Head into any Woolworths store from today — Tuesday, February 19 — and you'll find its $1 a litre milk is a thing of the past. In an effort to do right by Australia's struggling dairy industry, the supermarket giant is boosting the price of its home-branded two- and three-litre fresh milk varieties by ten cents a litre, with the difference eventually heading back into our farmers' pockets.

Two-litre milk products will now be priced at $2.20, with the three-litre version upped to $3.30, at Woolworths stores nationwide.

Since 2000, Australian dairy farmers have operated in a deregulated industry. This means that they are able to export their products much more easily as they can compete with international milk prices, but it also means they are often at the mercy of the international market price, which is, on average, quite low at around 42 US cents per litre.

This, along with cheap domestic milk prices and high feed prices because of the drought, might explain why farmers are doing it tough of late. The cheaper the milk on your supermarket shelf, generally, the worse off the farms that made it. So, while this latest Woolworths price change might sound minor, it has scope to be a significant win in the fight against discount dairy — especially as the supermarket has promised to pay the extra ten cents it's collecting per litre back to the suppliers.

"Removing $1 milk is not just intended to restore farmers' financial confidence, but it will also boost confidence in regional communities and small businesses that rely on the industry," Australian Dairy Farmers CEO David Inall said in a statement yesterday.

While Woolworths, as well as Coles, don't have a great reputation for supporting Aussie farmers, they're making steps (albeit small) to change this. Both supermarket giants introduced Drought Relief Milk in late 2018, with ten cents from each litre sold going to drought-affected dairy farmers.

There's no word yet on whether Coles and Aldi will also increase the price of their home-branded $1-a-litre milks, but we'll let you know if they do.

Published on February 19, 2019 by Libby Curran


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