Fresh milk shortages predicted
A PROTRACTED milk discounting war could lead to shortages of f resh milk, higher prices and long-life milk being pushed on consumers, a Senate inquiry has heard.
Industry heads warned that the Australian dairy industry could be brought to its knees if the major supermarket chains continue to sell milk at $ 1 per litre.
The second day of the Senate Economics Committee’s inquiry into milk discounting heard that farmers and dairy vendors were already suffering, and the recent sale of a dairy in Western Australia could not proceed due to a perceived loss of value in the business.
At the same time the corporate regulator is reluctant to give details about its dealings with Coles, following the grocery giant’s decision to slash the price of milk to $ 1 per litre in January.
Independent grocery retailers and academics say there could be shortages of
‘‘ Fresh milk may become a luxury item,’’ Prof Zumbo said.
‘‘ I don’t believe Coles and Woolworths would lose any sleep if they substituted longlife UHT milk for fresh milk. In some countries in Europe that’s what’s happened.’’