Last month, Australians realised the extent of the drought crisis faced by Queensland and New South Wales farmers. While there is no doubt that all agricultural industries are hurting, the dairy industry faces a tougher challenge than most.
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 New South Wales dairy industries hardest.
The national campaign launched by the Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) today asks everyday 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 that the full 10 cents goes back to the famers.
QDO reached out to Kyogle dairy farmer, Shane Hickey, whose social media post on being paid $2.46 per hour went viral with over 4 million views and countless shares, 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” said QDO President Brian Tessmann.
“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” said Tessmann.
Shane has taken to social media again to support of the 10 cent/litre Drought Levy petition and urges all Australians to get behind the campaign.
The petition can be found on change.org by searching 10 cent Drought Levy or via this link: https://www.change.org/p/petition-coles-woolworths-for-a-10-cent-per-litre-drought-levy-on-all-milk-brands