Milk-price war will hit farmers

TWEED dairy farmers will feel the effects of the

supermarket milk-price war within six months, according to Norco chairman Greg McNamara.

Coles and Woolworths have denied they will pass the cost of their milk-price war onto the producers, but Mr McNamara said that was the inevitable outcome of $1-a-litre milk prices.

“I don’t think there is any doubt about it; it will end up with a price cut to the farmers. I don’t think there is any doubt about that at all,” Mr McNamara told the Tweed Daily News.

The Norco co-operative, which is owned by dairy farmers in South-East Queensland and Northern New South Wales, outlined its concerns about the price war to a Senate inquiry this week.

It said Norco had observed a 2% uplift in generic milk products sold since the price war, and is expecting to see a larger change over an extended time.

The co-operative’s farmers are paid just three or four cents per litre above their break-even mark, and Mr McNamara said that would come under press- ure under the “predatory” price war.

“In six months time these prices will be impacting what our processors make.” Pat McDonald is one of nine remaining dairy farmers on the Tweed, and said the price war was demeaning.

“Coles has absolutely diminished the value and

image of milk and made it seem like just a cheap product,” the third-generation farmer said.

Mr McNamara said the ACCC needed to be given more power to investigate predatory pricing by supermarkets.



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