Coles changes homebrand milk supplier

Dairy farmers are waiting for July to see the impacts of the change in contracts that Coles has announced.
Dairy farmers are waiting for July to see the impacts of the change in contracts that Coles has announced.

WESTERN Downs Dairy farmers have met the latest announcement by supermarket giant Coles on milk contracts with mixed enthusiasm.

From July 1, Coles will change its contracted supplier for its homebrand milk label from Lion to Norco.

For Brymaroo dairy farmer Grant Wieck, who sells his milk to Lion, it is not the best outcome.

"I'm not going to complain about the principle, the industry has been pushing for long-term contracts for years, but it's just the luck of the draw," Mr Wieck said.

"A long-term contract will offer some more stability - it just comes down to a matter of whether you're the processor."

The contract change has been called a double-edged sword by the Queensland Dairy Farmers Organisation, who said while Lion suppliers could lose out, Norco would be looking for more milk and paying a bit more for it.

QDO President Brian Tessmann has raised questions on how Coles can still sell its homebrand milk at $1 a litre despite the new contracts and expected payment increases for suppliers.

"The milk war has been going for more than two years now," Mr Tessmann said.

"In the past, when the supermarkets have changed their milk supplier, there has been considerable difficulty in transitioning … and many dairy farmers have been hurt considerably in the process."

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