$1 milk “not worth it” to students

By Lauren Choo

THE dairy war over cheap supermarket milk has changed some students minds with brand label milk.

$1 milk became the main target over the crisis in the dairy industry, and a boycott was rallied on social media to support local brand milk instead.

However as time passed, data from Dairy Australia has shown supermarket chain Woolworths-brand milk market share has risen back up to just under 60 per cent from its previous drop in sales.

Students’ response to milk prices

Some students from Monash University have taken to Twitter to express their support of brand label milk.

Miss Rachel Morante, a final year student, said she started buying brand label milk as its “not worth” to compromise on local dairy farmers.

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Twitter Interview with Miss Morante, final year student at Monash University (1/2)
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Twitter Interview with Miss Morante, final year student at Monash University (2/2)

Another student, Miss Fitriana Maisarah, a second year student, was aware of the crisis surrounding the dairy industry and said she is willing to make the switch to brand label milk.

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Twitter Interview with Miss Maisarah, second year student at Monash University (1/2)
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Twitter Interview with Miss Maisarah, second year student at Monash University (2/2)

Also, veterinarian student Cassandra MacDonald from NSW, created a video explaining a dollar per litre milk.

The video was made to address Coles treatment with domestic milk farmers through an infographic animation.

And despite the general assumption of students being on tight budgets and not caring, these interviews and video show even the youth are willing to step up and contribute to the local community.

Twitter users weigh in

Many Twitter users have weighed in on the situation of the dairy industry, with scathing tweets directed at supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths.

Collage of tweets about supermarket milk

An online call was put out to the public to ditch the cheap milk and support local dairy farmers instead.

Many consumers were quick to target the dollar a litre milk as the reason the industry was suffering.

However, the crisis surrounding the dairy industry is much more than just dollar litre milk from the chain supermarkets.

The dairy crisis in a nutshell

Australian dairy farmers were shocked when two of the largest processors in the country made large cuts to the price they pay farmers for their milk.

The farm gate milk price (FMP) farmers are paid for their milk was reduced more than ten per cent, and processors Murray Goulburn and Fonterra said the cuts were necessary to remain competitive.

The global dairy trade came into an oversupply as a conflict in Ukraine sparked a trade war with Russia, and import bans were imposed that directly affected markets with significant Australian presence.

Supermarket milk VS Branded milk

Chain supermarkets usually sign contracts with milk processors to supply their house brand milk.

The processors buy the milk from farmers, then process, repackage and deliver the milk along with their own brand label milks such as Devondale and Dairy Farmers.

Coles house brand milk on display

With the worldwide glut in dairy production and a huge slash on the FMP by milk processors, a dollar per litre milk is not the main villain in this.

But the boycott on supermarket milk was not for naught, with some farmer groups rallying against cheap milk since 2011.

Do your part

The dairy industry is facing tough times, but you can do your part by continuing to buy dairy products.

However, if this is very confusing and you just want to find out how you can help support local dairy farmers, click here.


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