Dairy farmers ask Coles: Is it worth destroying an industry for just 10 cents?

If the supermarket giant Coles anticipated that the dairy industry would walk away from its 8-year fight to end $1 milk without resolution, then today it was reminded of the industry’s resolve.

More than two dozen dairy farmers from some of the current drought’s worst hit regions including the Darling Downs, Scenic Rim, Sunshine Coast and Gympie, left their farms to join fellow farmers and supporters in a protest at Coles’ Cooparoo store this morning.

“Flipping the marketing slogan Good things are happening launched by Coles last year, seemed appropriate for the occasion” said Marketing and Communications Manager, Sarah Ferguson.

 “There is nothing good about this situation. There is nothing good about a single company being able to control the base price for a commodity.

Coles cannot continue the same old tired rhetoric about how much it is helped farmers through the drought. Firstly, the major contribution was made by its customers; and secondly, every supermarket chain did likewise. $1 milk has gone on for 8 years too long. It’s time for the Coles Board to say to senior management, enough is enough.

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Coles’ continues to ignore what its shoppers want and those shoppers want to support our farming industries. Coles relies on data and market research rather than walking into a store and talking to people. Purchasing behaviour does not always equal personal sentiment” said Ms Ferguson.

“They’re [Coles’ are] acting like a bunch of school kids – being bullies and picking on the smaller kids. We’re tired of Coles’ arrogance. The Australian public is tired of Coles’ arrogance. It’s boring to keep going over the same ground over and over again.

We just want to get on with earning a living and running our businesses. For goodness sake, it’s just 10 cents.” said Norco supplier and QDO Vice President, Matt Trace.

Given the past weeks soaring temperatures, the dairy farmers attending today’s protest could ill afford to leave their herds. “If you think it is bad here in Brisbane, you can only imagine the conditions in the middle of paddock that has no pasture, limited feed and limited water.”

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