Fresh milk short­ages pre­dicted

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor -

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.’’

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