Consumer perception of the nutritional value of milk set to soar

One significant benefit of this week’s decision by supermarkets Coles and Aldi (and that of Woolworths in February) to increase their private label range of 2L and 3L milks by 10 cents per litre will be to start the process of the restoration of milk’s value perception in the eyes of consumers and their natural high nutritional value.

This was the view today of Dairy Connect CEO Shaughn Morgan who also said the announcement was a valuable initiative in what remains a long journey ahead to find structural solutions to the industry.

“All options must be considered and particularly so in the lead up to the Federal election to be held later this year”, Shaughn said.

Dairy Connect has long argued that part of the great damage done by ‘$1 a litre’ milk was to undervalue dairy farmers, the dairy industry and the nutritious fresh milk by denigrating its significant nutritional contribution to human health,” Shaughn said.

“When customers in supermarkets walk past the bottled water shelves and see one of the most popular water brands selling at $2.75 a litre and then nearby see milk selling at $1 a litre in the dairy cabinet, what conclusions are customers expected to draw on their relative values?

“Fresh liquid milk is a premium quality, short shelf-life food of immense nutritional value that should command a price well above that of bottled water.

“Milk contains eight nutrients essential to human health and putting fresh dairy on the table at mealtimes can play an important role in healthy eating and well-being.

Shaughn Morgan said “These including B vitamins for energy, vitamin A to help maintain a healthy immune system and calcium which helps build and maintain bone strength.

Dairy Connect also continues to call on the implementation of ‘truth in labelling’, particularly to safeguard iconic dairy terms such as ‘milk’. In the lead up to the Federal election, Dairy Connect will highlight the nutritional differences between dairy milk and plant-based drinks, which we submit is unfair to use terms such as milk”, Shaughn said.

Dairy Australia’s Human Health and Nutrition Policy Manager, Melissa Cameron, speaking at the Australian Dairy Conference in February, said it was time to debunk the myths surrounding non-dairy alternatives.

“Melissa told the conference that non-dairy alternatives generally had filtered water added to their plant base and were fortified with calcium and a range of other minerals and vitamins,” Shaughn said.

“She said that, in most cases, key minerals and vitamins were not naturally present in these plant-sourced drinks. Nutrients were added to these products to try to mimic the composition of dairy milk.”

Shaughn Morgan said that Dairy Connect, as an advocacy body, fully supported Melissa Cameron’s comments and we needed 'truth in labelling' for iconic dairy terms right now.

“The time has come for action by the Federal Government and we call on the Deputy Leader of the Nationals and Minister for Regional Services, Senator Bridget McKenzie, to move to protect the use of dairy terms.

“Senator McKenzie told ABC Rural in October last year that: “When consumers buy ‘milk’, it should actually come from a dairy cow.”

Minister, Dairy Connect supports your view and the time to act is now.