Woolworths has bowed to dairy farmer pressure and rising consumer concern about the drought, vowing to lift the price of house brand milk from $1 to 1.10 a litre nationwide, from tomorrow.
The supermarket group will now sell two and three litre varieties of Woolworths branded fresh milk for $2.20 and $3.30 respectively.
It has promised every cent of the increase will end up with Australian dairy farmers.
Last year the retailer introduced a special Drought Relief Milk range selling for $1.10/litre on the eastern seaboard, which was available in addition to its private label range.
Strong consumer support for the drought levy range has generated about $5.8 million in relief for more than 285 dairy farmers since September.
The drought milk range will now be disbanded, but as the price change goes national across the Woolworths house brand range, it will deliver higher milk returns to about 450 Australian dairy farmers supplying into Woolworths branded fresh milk.
Woolworths group chief executive officer, Brad Banducci said the retailer felt the long term sustainability of the dairy industry - and the regional communities they helped support - was “incredibly important for Australia”.
“In our consultation with industry bodies, including the Australian Dairy Farmers, its state members and NSW Dairy Connect, we’ve heard the outlook will continue to be extremely tough for dairy farmers right across the country,” he said.
“This is affecting milk production and farm viability, which is devastating for farmers and the regional communities in which they live.
“It’s clear something needs to change and we want to play a constructive role in making this happen.”