Federal agricultural minister David Littleproud urged supermarkets to pay dairy farmers more for their milk, stating that they needed to do their bit to support farmers suffering through drought, bushfire and now the COVID-19 crisis.
“I have asked them to each individually consider extending and increasing the amount of the support they provide dairy farmers who faithfully supply products across the full dairy cabinet. This would allow the benefits of any supermarkets’ levy or support schemes to be distributed evenly to Australian dairy farmers,” he said.
“It will be up to each retailer to determine how much support they are willing to provide to our farmers.”
Advocacy body Australian Dairy Farmers suggested the price of discount milk rise to $1.50 per litre, with farmers getting the full increase.
Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association dairy council chair Geoff Cox supported this price, stressing that Tasmanian dairy farmers should also benefit from any price rises.
“If we get market intervention and a voluntary levy is passed back to dairy farmers then it is important that Tasmanian dairy farmers are not left out of that,” he said.
“Just because we have had a good year and other states have not we should not miss out on this advantage. Tasmanian dairy farmers have still had their bad years.
“We have invested in infrastructure and been proactive in preparing for downturns and should not be penalised because of this.”
The state’s season to March has seen a 4.2 per cent increase on last year to 759 million litres.