DAIRY farmers say proposed fair milk price logo laws will give Queensland milk consumers the transparency and clarity they need to support the state’s dairy industry.
The Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) said it supported a voluntary fair milk price logo to help inform consumers at the checkout on which Queensland milk products directly supported the state’s dairy farmers.
QDO representatives were speaking at the Queensland Agriculture and Environment Committee’s hearing into the Sustainable Queensland Dairy Production (Fair Milk Price logo) Bill 2016 at Parliament House yesterday.
The committee also heard from local government, QDO, the ACCC, and the Department of Agriculture.
QDO president Brian Tessmann said that a fair milk price logo would go a long way in helping consumers distinguish between Queensland milk was produced at an ethical and fair price.
“People are continually asking what milk they should buy to support our local dairy farmers; while QDO encourages them to ‘buy branded milk’, many want a clearer indicator right there on the bottle,” Mr Tessmann said.
“The recent ‘I Buy Branded Milk’ campaign run by QDO was a success and shows consumers are willing to support Queensland dairy farmers and this Bill supports this public change.
“At today’s hearing (March 1), the ACCC clarified its principled support for efforts that increase consumer’s access to information that provides transparency when making purchasing decisions. The Fair Milk Price Logo does exactly that.”
Mr Tessmann said he was calling on consumers, farmers and supporters of Queensland’s dairy industry to contact their member of parliament and to express their support for the issue.
“If Queenslanders want to continue to enjoy local milk it is essential that we create a way that allows consumers to throw their market power behind sustaining the state’s farmers,” Mr Tessmann said.
Mr Tessmann said since $1 milk in 2011 more than $200 million a year has been stripped out of our dairy supply chain resulting in more than 180 dairy farmers have left the Queensland industry.
“Major retailers undervaluing milk has seen many Queensland dairy farmers leave in the industry as it no longer become profitable,” he said.