Wauchope shoppers give their views on supermarket milk pricing

As dairy farmers struggle to survive cut-price supermarket milk and ongoing drought, the Wauchope Gazette has been asking local people what they think.

A bid to set a mandatory minimum price for milk failed in parliament last month, as the federal agriculture minister, David Littleproud said the industry couldn't go back in time.

Labour had tried to force a vote requiring the competition watchdog to investigate setting a minimum price on milk, but it was voted down.

Woolworths has stopped selling its home-brand milk at $1 a litre, upping the price by 10 centres with the extra money to go back to farmers. However Coles and Aldi have kept their cut-price milk lines.

Kelly Steele said she and her husband always buy Norco to support farmers.

She doesn't think supermarkets should cut the price of milk and use it as a loss leader.

"I do a lot of bulk shopping in supermarkets like Coles, but I come here to the IGA to buy milk and always buy Norco," she said.

Steve Healy says it's wrong for big supermarket chains to discount milk and risk putting farmers out of business.

Steve Healy says it's wrong for big supermarket chains to discount milk and risk putting farmers out of business.

Steve Healy also believes it's wrong for supermarkets to use heavily discounted milk as a loss leader to entice shoppers.

"Farmers are going out of business and it's crazy that big supermarkets are making lots of money.  Putting people at the very base of their supply chain out of business is madness.

"Rural communities just can't afford that," he said.

Shopper Rhonda Kirkman supports the farmers

Shopper Rhonda Kirkman supports the farmers

Wauchope shopper, Rhonda Kirkman supports local farmers.

"I don't mind paying whatever the extra amount is, because what are you going to do without the farmers, whether it's dairy or beef," said Rhonda.

One shopper named Gary had similar views.

“I reckon the farmers don’t get enough anyway. They only make five cents a litre by the time they produce milk. I worry about the dairy industry. The government in this country should subsidise the farmers.

“If you go to America, and the farmers have no money, the government still give them subsidies to feed people," said Gary.

Phil Marsden thinks milk in supermarkets is too cheap.

"What’s another 20 cents? Give more back to the farmers," he said.

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