A significant flow-on benefit from the past month's 10 cents a litre rise in prices for supermarket labeled two- and three-litre milk lines will be a restoration of milk's nutritional and value perception in the eyes of consumers.
Dairy Connect chief executive officer, Shaughn Morgan, described the latest announcement by Coles and Aldi as a valuable initiative in what remains a long journey ahead to find structural solutions to the industry.
"We have long argued that part of the great damage done by $1 a litre milk discounting was to undervalue dairy farmers, the dairy industry and the nutritious fresh milk by denigrating its significant nutritional contribution to human health," he said.
"When supermarket shoppers walk past the bottled water shelves and see one of the most popular water brands selling at $2.75/litre and then milk at $1/litre in the dairy cabinet, what conclusions are they expected to draw on the relative values of these products?
"Fresh liquid milk is a premium quality, short shelf-life food of immense nutritional value that should command a price well above that of bottled water.
"It eight nutrients essential to human health.
"Putting fresh dairy on the table at mealtimes can play an important role in healthy eating and well-being.
He said all dairy milk provided nine nutrients essential to human health, plus other nutrients including B vitamins for energy, vitamin A to help maintain a healthy immune system and calcium and vitamin D, helped build bone strength."
Dairy Connect also continued calling for implementation of truth in labelling, particularly to safeguard iconic dairy terms such as 'milk'.
It intended to use the lead up to the federal election to highlight the nutritional differences between dairy milk and plant-based drinks.
"We submit it is unfair for these products to use terms such as milk," he said.
Dairy Australia's human health and nutrition policy manager, Melissa Cameron, told last month's Australian Dairy Conference it was time to debunk the myths surrounding non-dairy alternatives.
She said non-dairy alternatives generally had filtered water added to their plant base and were fortified with calcium and a range of other minerals and vitamins.
"In some cases, key minerals and vitamins were not naturally present in these plant-sourced drinks," Mr Morgan said.
"Nutrients were added to try to mimic the composition of dairy milk."
"The time has come for action by the federal government."
He said Nationals deputy leader and Minister for Regional Services, Senator Bridget McKenzie had already publicly voiced the view "when consumers buy 'milk', it should actually come from a dairy cow".
Dairy Connect supported her view and felt the time to act was now.
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