Spend a bit extra for dairy farmers
BUY brand-named milk.
That’s the message from Glenore Grove dairy farmer Luke Stock, for those who want to help their local farmers.
With Coles’ induction of $1 per-litre milk in 2011, dairy farmers across the nation have felt the strain.
But Mr Stock, a third generation farmer, said it greatly affects Queensland farmers.
“All Queensland produced milk goes directly into the domestic market,” he said.
Milk prices have come under-fire with major supermarket retailer Coles announcing a new chain of milk which will give 20c per litre back to the farmers.
Some farmers are saying it’s a little-too-late.
“I know it’s hard to ask people to not buy home brand milk when they might be struggling with the cost of living,” Mr Stock said.
“But milk processors (such as Dairy Farmers and Norco) rely on the sales of branded milk to pass the benefits onto the farmers.”
He said Queensland farmers felt greater effects because the majority of their milk went onto the shelves in supermarkets.
“Down south about 90% is exported as powdered milk,” he said.
“It’s really the major supermarkets which are doing the damage.”
Mr Stock said in 2000 there was about 1500 farms operational in Queensland.
Currently there are approximately 440 running in the state.
The reduced number of farms means less milk being supplied annually, with farmers currently short 180 million litres per year.
“It’s because we’ve lost so many dairy farmers,” Mr Stock said.
“It’s not just a loss of production, but a loss of industry knowledge and generations of farmers.”
“Queensland supplied 410 million litres per year but the supply needs to be around 580,” he said.
But despite the cost cuts and strains, it’s an industry Mr Stock is passionate about.
“It is a great industry and all the farmers will get together and help each other out,” he said.