September 3, 2018
The Queensland Dairyfarmers Organisation is calling for a 10 cents per litre “drought levy” to be added to the price of milk at supermarkets.
“Last month, Australians realised the extent of the drought crisis faced by Queensland and NSW farmers. While there is no doubt that all agricultural industries are hurting, the dairy industry faces a tougher challenge than most,” QDO president Brian Tessmann said.
“To produce milk, dairy cows need to be in peak health and their food quality and quantity maintained. Whereas beef cattle, for example, can be fed a lower quantity and quality feed to see them through the drought.
“So, the increasing scarcity and the price of freighting in fodder has hit the Queensland and NSW dairy industries hardest.”
The QDO launched a national campaign on Monday to encourage all Australians to sign an online petition urging supermarkets to increase the price of milk by 10 cents/litre and for processors, like Parmalat, Norco and Lion, to guarantee the full 10 cents goes back to the farmers.
QDO reached out to Kyogle dairy farmer, Shane Hickey, whose social media post on being paid $2.46 per hour went viral with more than million views, to help drive awareness for the campaign.
“Shane hit the nail on the head with his first viral video. People now get just how underpaid our farmers are and have shown that they want to do something to help” Mr Tessmann said.
“While Shane is not a Queenslander, he shares our sense of injustice and our drive to turn around the dairy industry and make things happen.
“For too long, we’ve hoped for the supermarkets and processors to do the right thing to ensure we have a sustainable dairy industry; but nothing has changed.
“So we are calling on our fellow Australians to drive change by signing and sharing the petition.”