Farmers Are Celebrating The End Of 'Soul-Destroying' $1 Milk
As the sun pokes through the rain clouds over Tony Biffin's dairy farm, he's filled with hope for his industry for the first time in a decade.
Wednesday marked the end of $1 milk in major supermarket chains, with Coles and Aldi raising their own-brand milk to $1.10 per litre.
The price hike matches Woolworths' increase last month, and all of the retail giants have vowed to give the extra money back to dairy farmers.
For fourth-generation dairy farmer Tony Biffin, it was a "very positive announcement".
"If there's no confidence in the industry and they can't pay us a sustainable price for the product then they won't have a product to sell," he told 10 News First.
"It's as simple as that."
Over the decades, Biffins Dairy -- in Cawdor, NSW -- has survived several droughts and a changing economy, but Tony said the decision in 2011 to introduce $1 milk was "soul-destroying" for his industry.
It meant drinks like cola, orange juice and water were all at least 50 cents more expensive than the product his family has been painstakingly producing for more than a century.
"It's hard to get everybody out here to see how much effort goes into it but they can be rest-assured there's an enormous amount of effort," Biffin said, as he looked over to the new calf his son helped deliver.
The announcement from the supermarkets on Tuesday night is one that dairy farmers have been anticipating for years, said Australian Dairy Farmers CEO David Inall.
"It's a shot in the arm for the dairy industry, for those farmers supplying those fresh milk contracts into Coles and Aldi," Inall said.
There are now calls for other grocers, like IGA and Costco, to follow the example -- and for the levy to be applied to all products in the dairy cabinet.
Coles' chief Executive Steven Cain said the supermarket supports proposals to make Australia's dairy industry more sustainable, but has labelled this move as an "interim measure".
Similarly, Aldi's Managing Director, Oliver Bongardt said it is a "short-term solution" to an industry-wide problem, raising fears this price hike has an expiry date.
The new prices came into effect on Wednesday .
Featured image: 10 News First
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