Woolies won’t ask suppliers to drop milk prices.
Woolies won’t ask suppliers to drop milk prices.

Farmers won't pay: Woolworths

WOOLWORTHS says it will not be asking suppliers to drop their prices as part of the current supermarket milk discounting war.

“While this is clearly all about supporting the consumers’ desire for a good price, we also understand the farmers’ need for a good price,” spokeswoman Clare Buchanan said.

“We need a sustainable supply chain in order to offer our milk and the farmers are vital to that.”

Ms Buchanan said Woolworths was extending a helping hand to Queensland dairy farmers in the form of a special five cent donation per litre of milk.

The donation, which started on Sunday, will run for two weeks until February 19 and will raise an estimated half a million dollars.

“We’ve been clear we are sympathetic to dairy farmers,” Ms Buchanan said.

“They have already been hit by drought, flood and cyclones and now there is this price war.

“The industry has been in a precarious state for some time and we don’t want to further destabilise it.

“Woolworths is absorbing the cost of these price cuts.”

She said the milk used in Woolworths’ home brand contained 3.4 per cent fat, only marginally lower than the normal 3.7 per cent in full-cream milk.

Asked about the percentage of permeate (what remains after protein and fat have been skimmed off) in Woolworths milk, Ms Buchanan said retailers had ‘no visibility over that’.

“Permeate is derived from the processing and we don’t know what percentage is in our milk. Australian labelling laws do not require that to be listed.”

The donation applies to every brand and variety of fresh white milk bought at any Woolworths store nationally.

All money will go to the Queensland Dairy Farmers Relief Fund and all dairy farmers in the State are eligible.

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