Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has renewed savage attacks on major supermarkets over milk prices, accusing Woolworths of token gimmicks instead of helping farmers.
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David Littleproud: “Mums and dads want to help farmers out but Coles basically said they don’t care”.

Woolworths has announced an extension of a 10-cent levy on its own brand two and three litre milk, which it says will see $30 million flow to producers.

But Mr Littleproud said the grocery giant was creating a corporate feel-good fund to promote its own brand.

“It is utterly disrespectful of Woolworths to try to capitalise on World Milk Day with this pitiful offering, duping consumers into thinking the dairy farmers are getting genuine help from the supermarket,” he said.

“The supermarkets aren’t listening to me or dairy farmers when we are clearly saying they need to restore the value they stripped from the dairy industry with $1-a-litre milk.”

Woolworths fresh food director Paul Harker said the levy would give millions to farmers over the next year beyond the farmgate price paid by processors.
“Our levy has provided much-needed relief to dairy farmers and we’re grateful for our customers’ support of the program,” he said.

Industry lobby group Australian Dairy Farmers wants to increase the retail price of milk and pass the increase back to dairy farmers via processors.

Mr Littleproud said farmers wanted a fair price for milk instead of relying on charity or grants and Woolworths should stop hiding behind fear of moving first and stump up.

“Stop holding back the extra $90 million in value from the Australian dairy supply chain and claiming to be dairy’s saviour with $5 million dollars of grants that farmers need to grovel for,” Mr Littleproud said.

“We just need fair prices for dairy farmers not tokenism.”

Woolworths will also establish a $5 million fund to provide infrastructure and technology grants to dairy farmers over the next three years.

Meghalaya governor Satya Pal Malik, who was a BJP MP from Baghpat in western Uttar Pradesh, on Monday spoke out in support of the farmers protesting against the three agriculture laws.

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