Thumbs up for milk price report

24 Dec, 2012 01:00 AM
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Brownes Dairy managing director Ben Purcell supported the findings of the WAFarmers’ report into the dairy industry in WA.
Brownes Dairy managing director Ben Purcell supported the findings of the WAFarmers’ report into the dairy industry in WA.

THE two major milk processors in WA have come out in support of the recently released WAFarmers' milk price sustainability report.

Brownes Dairy said the findings from the report were concerning but not surprising.

Brownes managing director Ben Purcell said the problem needed to be addressed as a matter of priority.

He said there were real concerns with the rising costs of labour, grain and energy on a monthly basis.

"This is the side to dairy farming that most consumers don't see, it is vital we help them understand," Mr Purcell said.

"If our local dairy industry is to survive and be sustainable, we need to secure a fair price out of the market for our milk and return a fair price to our farmers."

According to Mr Purcell, Brownes had been leading the industry with two price increases in the past year.

But he said the increase needed to come from the market.

Mr Purcell hoped the talks between WAFarmers and the major supermarkets would expose the real situation of the dairy industry in WA but said it was more than just a WA problem.

"This argument for WA is compelling but this is a nation-wide problem and we need a nation-wide solution." he said.

Mr Purcell said Woolworths, in particular, was starting to get the message and hoped to see an increase in the product price.

He also said he believed WA consumers would accept a price increase on milk if the major supermarkets went down that road.

"Coles and Woolworths would not lose a single customer," Mr Purcell said.

"They provide consumers such value as retailers, with the convenience, quality and range of food, they don't need to sell cheap milk."

A Harvey Fresh spokesman said WAFarmers report provided a valuable contribution to the WA dairy industry and the understanding of its underlying economics.

FarmWeekly

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