Steady prices a relief for Queensland dairy farmers

By Ross McInnes, QDO Vice-President

Milk prices for Queensland dairy farmers will remain largely unchanged after announcements by Norco and Lion (Dairy Farmer’s brand) last week. This comes as a great relief after what had been a nervous wait since the low price announcements by the southern processors.

Parmalat (Pauls brand) suppliers in Queensland will receive notificationin the coming months as their prices start from January next year. For the majority of Queensland’s dairy farmers who supply the three major processors, it appears there will be no real change. After the uncertainty in the southern markets, Queensland dairy farmers appear to have been able to weather the impacts of the milk crisis off the back of consumers supporting branded milk.

Murray Goulburn (MG) announced an opening price of $4.31/ kg milk solids in Victoria or around 33 cpl on their calculations. MG also announced a drop of 5.6 cents per litre for their NSW farmers from around 52cpl to 46.7cpl.

As I stated last week, the potential supply drops in Queensland and the risk to available milk from the southern markets plus apotential turnaround in pricing for the 2017/18 year impacted directly on the processors’ decision last week. Any reduction in price would have also sent a confusing message to Queensland consumers.

Last week Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) publicly thanked our milk processors for holding the line on their price. The collective sigh of relief from dairy farmers all over the state when the announcements were made public was almost audible. Gympie dairy farmer and Norco supplier Elke Watson told ABC Rural Radio that this was the “certainty they needed to be able to keep dairying”.

QDO would like to directly thank every consumer who chose branded milk, as their actions have reinforced the campaign against the unsustainably low priced milk. The holding of the farmgate price in Queensland shouldfurther reinforce consumers’ confidence in the power and value of the dairy whole supply chain and that by buying branded milk you can make a difference.