Welcome drought relief program news from Woolworths – Dairy Connect

Advocacy group Dairy Connect has welcomed Woolworth’s announcement today that the supermarket will extend its dairy farmer drought relief program for up to six more months.

The Drought Relief Milk program had provided $3.1 million in relief payments to more than 280 drought-affected dairy farmers across New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria since it began in October.

A limited-edition milk range offers customers the option to buy Woolworths full cream and Woolworths light milk varieties at $2.20 for two litres and $3.30 for three litres, with 10 cents per litre going to dairy farmers in drought affected areas.

Graham Forbes, President of the Dairy Connect Farmers Group said “We’re extremely grateful that Woolworth’s has listened to Dairy Connect’s representations on behalf of dairy producers at this time of year.”

We call on other retailers to immediately follow the positive lead of Woolworths and implement similar programs now. This will ensure that dairy farmers who provide their fresh nutritious milk to these supermarkets receive the benefits during these current harsh times”, Mr Forbes said.

The Woolworths drought relief range of milks has been shown to have worked and provide support to dairy farmers across drought affected States.

CEO Shaughn Morgan said Dairy Connect had been a major proponent of the Woolworths drought relief initiative since its inception.

“The announcement is great Christmas news for dairy producers and dairy communities on the eastern seaboard who supply Woolworths with fresh nutritious milk via their processors such as Parmalat, who are to be congratulated,” he said.

“Our farmer members have used the Woolies’ drought relief funds during the past three or four months to underpin the cost of buying-in fodder for their cows.

“This has allowed some producers to slow the process of destocking that had been brought about by dwindling fodder supplies on dairy farms across Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

“Importantly, the industry has also welcomed the ongoing and sympathetic support of Woolworths’ consumers who have supported the drought relief program and purchased the specially marked milk.

“While many producers have welcomed recent rain storms, the impact of drought persists as dairy farming families and communities move into Christmas and the New Year.

Shaughn Morgan said Dairy Connect would continue to work closely with Woolworths’ fresh food management team exploring longer term industry reform initiatives.

“This will include ways in which all dairy products can be sold at a price that enables the dairy farmer to receive a higher farmgate price above the cost of production.

“The year ahead will be a momentous one for the industry as important reform initiatives are rolled out,” he said.

“We’re looking forward to the ride ahead and to providing positive outcomes for dairy farmers and their farming enterprises.”