Supermarket giants continue to torment dairy farmers

28 March 2013: KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter has labelled a leading supermarket giants move to buy milk direct from dairy farmers by dangling a higher milk price incentive in front of their noses, as both a “cruel and terrible” form of torment amid continued unease in the industry.

Mr Katter said the latest act from the supermarket giant has reignited a fresh and aggressive parliamentary pursuit to ensure that dairy farmers receive a fair price for milk.

“This is unfinished business for us. We will continue to put pressure at both a state and federal level until we see that an arbitrated price for milk is returned to our dairy farmers.

“We have had discussions with the Shane Knuth, (KAP State Member for Dalrymple) who represents what is still the biggest dairying area in North East Queensland and this is also a key parliamentary focus for him.

“In February we moved legislation to see an arbitrated price of milk for dairy farmers”.

Mr Katter said that arbitration is desperately needed for both the working people of Australia as well as the dairy farmers themselves.

“The Australian consumer is put in a terrible position when they see the repercussion of buying milk at its current price, compared to the poor dairy farmers who have no rights at all.

“With an arbitrated price implemented today, we would see farmers being paid about 77c/L for fresh milk.

“In Australia, we believe in a fair go. These poor people are working for incomes that are at starvation and poverty level. It is just terribly cruel what is happening.

“Within two years of deregulation, the price of milk fell from 59c/L to 42c/L. The dairy industry was hit with a farmer committing suicide every four day – a heart wrenching and unacceptable toll.

“The LNP is primarily responsible for this decision, with the help of the ALP, and they can take full responsibility for making these supermarket giants rich, literally over the dead bodies of Australian dairy farmers.

“I plead with all Australians, please, please ask your local LNP and ALP members what they are doing about this”.