Branded milk not the an­swer

Warwick Daily News - South West Queensland Rural Weekly - - Column -

CALLS on con­sumers to help farm­ers by buy­ing $1.50/litre branded milk have been de­bunked by Aus­tralia’s com­pe­ti­tion watch­dog.

Just last week Fed­eral Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter David Lit­tleproud called on shop­pers to shun super­mar­kets’

$1/litre house brands and buy pro­ces­sor-owned brands for

$1.50/litre in­stead.

“The best thing shop­pers can do is buy branded milk, not su­per­mar­ket brand milk or bet­ter still, shop at in­de­pen­dent gro­cers,” Mr Lit­tleproud said.

But the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion’s in­quiry into the dairy in­dus­try found pro­ces­sors were pay­ing dairy farm­ers the same for milk, whether it went into su­per­mar­ket house-branded bot­tles or their own

$1.50/litre brands.

The ACCC used its pow­ers to ex­am­ine pro­ces­sors’ con­tracts with super­mar­kets, find­ing: “al­most all con­tracts for the sup­ply of pri­vate la­bel milk have clauses that al­low pro­ces­sors to pass-through move­ments in far­m­gate prices to super­mar­kets”.

“As a re­sult, there is no di­rect re­la­tion­ship be­tween re­tail pri­vate la­bel milk prices and far­m­gate prices,” the ACCC in­quiry found.

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