Australian consumers have been showing support for local dairy farmers by boycotting milk.
Gaping holes in the dairy shelves at supermarkets across the country are appearing where customers have taken to buying only the more expensive brands of milk rather than the discounted variety. The cheaper options, such as the Coles branded bottles, have been left sitting in the dairy section fridges.
So heart warming seeing people standing together. Brands to buy to keep supporting our dairy farmers #MilkedDry pic.twitter.com/aushog1PJK
— Lincoln Lewis (@linc_lewis) May 21, 2016
The consumer boycott of the cheaper milk is in response to recent actions taken by dairy buyers and processors, like Murray-Goulburn and Fonterra, to cut the price paid to suppliers by 10%. In many cases the price reduction has even been applied retrospectively.
The buyers say the price cut is in response to reduced demand and a higher Australian dollar. Desperate dairy farmers say it will send them broke.
The plight of the farmers was highlighted last week by Waleed Aly on Channel 10’s The Project in what the recent Gold Logie winner called “the greatest call to arms I have ever made”.
Since the segment aired, the consumer boycott of cheap milk has gathered pace. Shoppers have been posting images with the hashtag #MilkedDry on social media of their local supermarket dairy shelves left void of the more expensive brand milk while the cheaper so-called ‘home-brand’ bottles are ignored and left to meet their used by date without making it to the check-out.
#Aussies supporting #dairyfarmers leaving @Coles #milk on shelf in #Wodonga – #MilkedDry #milkcrisis #supportlocal pic.twitter.com/fbxlQu9ygH
— aubergine jellybean (@aubergine_jelly) May 19, 2016
Look at Aussies avoiding home brand milk to support Aussie dairy farmers #MilkedDry # auspol #dairycrisis pic.twitter.com/3dSk1Winbj
— HRH Terry Australis (@AustralisTerry) May 21, 2016
On Wednesday the federal government weighed in to the dairy crisis announcing a $555million loan facility for the struggling farmers, with $55million made available immediately to the suppliers.
“We’ve listened clearly to what the dairy farmers want, and what they want is access to concessional loans at the cheapest rates we can possibly get,” Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce said.