LION Dairy & Drinks will temporarily increase the wholesale price of its Dairy Farmers and Pura branded white milk products to support its dairy farmers impacted by drought.
Lion Dairy & Drinks managing director Kathy Karabatsas said the temporary 10c/litre wholesale price increase would be applied to all Dairy Farmers and Pura 1L, 2L, and 3L white milk products sold to participating retail outlets across Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Queensland from October 1.
“Every cent of the funds raised in each state during the activation will be distributed to drought-affected dairy farmers in that state who supply Lion either directly or through the Dairy Farmers Milk Cooperative,” Ms Karabatsas said.
The Lion decision follows announcements by supermarkets Woolworths and Coles on Thursday to sell some milk lines with a 10c/L drought levy.
Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation strongly welcomed the Lion announcement saying the scheme delivered for drought affected dairy farmers.
QDO marketing and communications manager Sarah Ferguson said she was confident 10c/L drought relief schemes would also be announced by Parmalat and Norco.
However, Ms Ferguson said farmers were bitterly disappointed by Woolworths and Coles as it was unclear how their levies would directly benefit dairy farmers.
“QDO maintains that the 10c/litre needs to be applied to all sizes, all brands, across all states to even partially relieve the financial burden facing dairy farmers,” Ms Ferguson said.
“The Lion scheme is fantastic. The supermarkets are just making dairy farmers even more angry.”
Lion has already taken a number of other steps to support its farmer supplies during the ongoing drought including:
- Interest-free loans in NSW to purchase feed.
- Supplying discounted feed such as brewers’ grain and citrus pulp from Lion’s alcohol and juice operations.
- Funding productivity improvements on farm.
- Helping farmers improve all areas of their businesses, from milk quality through to effective business management, through Lion’s Dairy Pride online self-assessment tool.
- The Lion Dairy Pride Farmer Support Program - a confidential 24 hour counseling support service.
Every cent of the funds raised in each state during the activation will be distributed to drought-affected dairy farmers in that state who supply Lion either directly or through the Dairy Farmers Milk Cooperative.
“With 100 per cent of NSW drought-declared, along with areas across Northern Victoria and South East Queensland, we know that the dairy farmers supplying us in these regions are doing it tough, especially with escalating costs including for feed and water,” Ms Karabatsas said.
“We are grateful we have secured the support of major grocery and convenience customers, who have indicated their acceptance of this wholesale price increase to Dairy Farmers and Pura branded milk products, knowing that 100pc of the increase is going directly to the farmers who supply our milk.
“Lion also strives to provide clarity and transparency for our dairy farmers in relation to milk pricing and contracts. We offer farmers a variety of contract length and pricing options, including offering farmers in the southern region fixed and variable pricing options, with farmers able to select the option that best suits the needs of their business.
“Lion does not believe in retrospective changes in milk price. It has never introduced retrospective payments as part of its milk contracts and does not support them as a matter of principle.”