Local News

Dairy Industry at Crisis Point While SA Company Bucks Trend

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An emotional plea in national media this week from dairy farmers doing it tough.

Farmers from across the country have been appealing for supermarkets to support their livelihoods as the industry has been decimated by various factors including drought, growing costs and a price squeeze from supermarkets.

In the past forty years, the number of dairy farms in Australia has declined from 22,000 to less than 6,000. 

Coles and Woolworths announced in February a 10 cent per litre increase to the cost of their brand milk, with 75 per cent of that going back to farmers.

In August the major supermarkets raised the price another 10 cents per litre but did not do so publically, and farmers say they have not been passing the extra money on.

Many Queensland farms are having to shut shop and import milk from southern states.

While South Australian dairy farm numbers have dwindled in recent decades, Fleurieu Milk has bucked the trend, increasing staff from 14 to 50 in 15 years while also expanding distribution.

Marketing Manager Clay Sampson has recently told FarmOnline.com.au that controversy in the media about the supermarket price war has led to increased Fleurieu Milk sales, thanks to customers trying to support local farmers.

The company, which was founded by three families on two farms in 2004, has achieved 35 per cent sales growth for the last financial year, making it the largest locally owned milk processor in the State.

Photo by Matthias Zomer from Pexels