December 8, 2019
Drought Minister David Littleproud has called on shoppers to boycott Coles in the wake of the revelation that it held back millions of “drought dollars” from dairy farmers.
Mr Littleproud described Coles’ actions in regards to the drought levy on milk as a “low act”.
On Thursday, a drawn-out legal battle over milk payments to farmers was avoided after a commitment from Coles to pay processor Norco about $5.25 million for distribution to its dairy farmers.
The payment followed an ACCC investigation into whether Coles fully passed on to Norco a 10 cents per litre price rise it charged consumers for Coles branded fresh milk, as it claimed it would do in advertising.
“Coles promised me when I negotiated the deal that all the money would go to farmers,” Minister Littleproud said.
“They told their customers they were helping farmers, then tried keeping the money.
“Coles has shown its true colours and needs to put things right.
“Coles should now lead the way and put at least 20 cents a litre right across its dairy range, not just on milk to show they really do care about dairy farmers.
“They owe it to dairy farmers and the public for failing to live up to their promises and it will allow time for government reforms such as the Dairy Code of Conduct to come into effect.
“Australians should show their support for dairy farmers by boycotting Coles until it comes good with this.”