Shoppers accuse supermarkets of sabotaging a campaign to support dairy farmers.
Coles and Woolworths supermarkets are facing the ire of shoppers who have been unable to buy branded milk in order to support Australian dairy farmers.
In the latest protest against the two supermarket giants, shoppers have taken to social media – in particular, the Facebook pages of Coles and Woolworths – to post images of fridges emptied of branded milk and fully stocked with Coles and Woolworths store-branded milk.
Recently, Australian dairy farmers launched a public campaign in which they asked consumers to buy more expensive branded milk instead of Coles and Woolworths brand milk, after it was revealed that the supermarket chains’ $1-per-litre milk war was hurting the Australian dairy industry.
The shortage of branded milk has led to shoppers wanting to support farmers, accusing Coles and Woolworths of sabotaging the campaign by withholding supplies of branded milk in favour of their own store brands. Customers are furious that they have been unable to buy milk that supports Australian farmers.
But Coles and Woolworths have both denied that the shortage of branded milk is deliberate, saying that the empty shelves were due to an unexpected increase in sales.
“Over the weekend, many of our stores sold out of branded milk due to increased demand,” said a Coles spokesperson. “Stores were not advised to withhold selling branded milk in order to sell Coles brand milk first. Many stores have, in fact, increased their orders of branded milk to meet this increased demand.”
“We want to help dairy farmers and so we’re launching a new milk brand that will deliver an extra 20 cents per litre to a fund that will help support dairy farmers in Victoria, NSW and Tasmania,” said the spokesperson. “We already have similar products to support farmers in SA and WA, and we’ve kicked off this new initiative with a commitment of $1 million.”
The lack of branded milk in supermarket fridges proves that Aussie shoppers are keen to support Australian dairy farmers.
This shortage comes hot on the heels of an admission by Coles that its store brand milk was, in fact, made from “reconstituted milk powder”. Coles has since corrected the bungled admission, saying its PR agent had left out the word “not” from the Facebook post in question.
Coles was quick to take down the incorrect post, saying, “Our Coles brand fresh milk is exactly that – fresh. It’s not made from reconstituted milk powder and it’s 100 per cent permeate-free.”
The milk wars began after major milk buyers slashed the purchasing price of milk solids from $5.60 per kilo to between $4.75 and $5 per kilo because of a global dairy industry downturn.
As a result, some dairy farmers will actually operate at a loss for the foreseeable future – hence the request for Aussies to buy more expensive milk in order to boost incomes for dairy farmers.
Would you buy more expensive milk in order to help our struggling dairy farmers? Do you think that Coles’ new milk brand, which will see 20c per litre go into a fund to help our dairy farmers, is enough to undo the damage done?
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