Daily Liberal: Little Big Dairy Co's Erika Chesworth says no to dairy discounting

NSW Farmers remains committed to pushing for the end to dairy discounting. Dairy discounting by retailers has eroded the sustainability and strength of the NSW dairy industry since 2011.

Farmers have not had the opportunity to build resilience into their business and the current dry conditions are highlighting this fact. Farmers are stretched and it is time for both processors and retailers to work together to ensure dairy farmers receive sustainable prices. 

The past few weeks have been a roller-coaster of emotions for farmers, with feelings of hope, anxiety and anger with the ongoing stream of announcements. There have been positives with some processors increasing prices for farmers.

However anger has been strong with the retailers’ drought milk ranges being exposed as media stunts. Supermarkets must recognise their responsibility to treat farmers fairly and ensure that the supply chains they source product are sustainable. 

Farmers need long term changes to ensure a sustainable dairy industry. We are calling for retailers to pay a fair price for dairy products, and lift the prices of dairy products across the cabinet to ensure a vibrant and profitable dairy industry.

Processors then need to ensure that this increase values flows directly back to farmers. If the downward price pressure continues, more farmers will leave the industry which jeopardises the future of the fresh drinking milk industry.

Dairy farmers just want to receive a fair price so they have the the ability to invest in their businesses and the industry.

These necessary investments cannot occur at the current prices. It is time that sustainable prices were delivered across the supply chain. This must start with retailers lifting their prices, the public buying branded products and processors delivering this increased value back to dairy farmers.

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