Farmers from the Darling Downs, Sunshine Coast and Gympie regions congregated at a Coles in Brisbane to deliver their message on Wednesday.
The farmers, armed with placards written in bold red and black text, condemned the supermarket for their choice to sell Coles brand milk for $1 per litre.
The supermarket giant has refused to follow major competitor Woolworths, who announced last month they’d charge an additional 10 cents a litre for own-brand milk.
Woolworths said the extra cash would end up in the pocket of dairy farmers affected by drought.
‘It’s just 10 cents,’ one sign read.
Another read ‘bad things are happening at Coles’ in reference to the supermarket’s advertising slogan.
One protester dressed as bush ranger Ned Kelly and held a Coles ‘down down’ hand.
The Kelly improviser wore a misspelled sign over his neck claiming Coles is robbing farmers.
Another sign requested shoppers boycott all Coles stores across across the country.
Despite Woolworths’ announcement, Coles and Aldi refused to follow suit.
Coles said it was concerned the increased price would impact customers struggling with the cost of living and instead would look for other ways to help farmers.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has urged shoppers to boycott the supermarket.
‘Coles’ customers want to help farmers and this just makes it harder. They should show their support for drought-hit communities by shopping somewhere else,’ he said in January.
‘Coles only introduced a drought payment because it had to follow Woolworths’ lead. Its half-hearted attempt did not include a proper payment process to make sure the farmers supplying the milk were paid per litre they supplied.
A Coles spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia the supermarket chain supports farmers in other ways.
‘Over the past nine months, Coles has pledged more than $16 million for drought relief through our CWA Drought Appeal, Coles Dairy Drought Relief Fund and the Coles Nurture Fund,’ the spokeswoman said.
‘As a result of these Coles funds, more than 2600 drought-affected farmers across Australia have already received CWA grants and an additional 639 dairy farmers have received payments from the Coles Dairy Drought Relief Fund.’
‘On top of this, Coles continues to support drought-affected farmers by raising funds for the CWA Drought Appeal and matching all customer donations made at our check-outs dollar for dollar.’