Not to play down the issues our southern cousins face, but the dairy crisis seems much harder felt here with the number of farms sliding down towards 300. We have formed a strong alliance with NSW Farmers Federation who, perhaps unsurprising, have similar issues to us since they too have a strong fresh milk supply market.
Between us we have led the charge to restore balance to the value chain and within the industry.
For the first few months of 2019, QDO continued to hound our major supermarkets to get an extra 10 cents for those farmers supplying to Lactalis and Norco for fresh milk via a ‘Drought Levy’.
While we were criticised by many farmers interstate for focusing on white milk and by farmers in Queensland supplying to other processors, we stuck to our guns.
Nine years ago farmers around Australia cried out for their organisations to get rid of $1/L milk. Taking on Coles and Woolworths certainly felt too big for a state-based organisation but we stuck to our guns, weathered from heavy criticism. Lo and behold, come March 19, we achieved that aim.
This for QDO was a real turning point as it signified to all players in the industry, that QDO was a force that could no longer be ignored as ‘those farmers from Queensland who are wasting their time’.
On behalf of the State Council of QDO, we thank our members for the continued faith and support of the work that the officers at QDO undertake. We have been saddened to lose so many good hard working farming families because of the financial, physical and mental strain that current conditions have our farmers working under. We pray that 2020 brings fairer weather conditions and sustainable farmgate prices for all our farmers.