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TAS Country : February 9th 2012
16 Tasmanian Country Friday, February 10, 2012 The Stock Report Global milk price a fairer deal CHEAPER: Price wars have seen the cost of Homebrand milk drop to $1 a litre THE Australian domestic drinking-milk price should be pegged to the export price of dairy products, the head of the nation's dairy farmers says. And, according to Aust- ralian Dairy Farmers president Chris Griffin, that price was ''closer'' to the branded price of milk --- about $1.85 a litre --- rather than $1-a-litre house-brand product. Mr Griffin said New Zea- land consumers had to pay $1.35 a litre for milk be- cause this was equal to what would be returned to suppliers if that same litre was sold for export. He said the Australian domestic drinking milk price formerly tracked the global price, but the super- market price war had stopped this. The weighted average of product sold using the online auction Global- DairyTrade in the past 12 months was as low as $US3449 a tonne last October and reached a high of $US4826 a tonne last March. The average price at the most recent auction was $US3701 a tonne. The weighted average has not dipped below $US3000 a tonne since October 2009. It has now been a year since supermarket giant Coles decided to slash the price of its house-brand milk to $1 a litre. While only 20 per cent of Australia's nine billion- litre supply is destined for the domestic drinking market, Mr Griffin said ''nearly 100 per cent'' of milk in Queensland and northern NSW supplied this market. Farm-gate prices in these regions have slipped from the end of 2010, with new milk supply contracts up to 3c a litre less than previous agreements. Dairy Australia's Situ- ation and Outlook report confirmed ''the returns to more than 70 per cent of milk production are set by world markets''. Prices for domestic dairy products, according to Dairy Australia, were governed by export market benchmarks while it also acknowledged the ''criti- cal'' role of co-operative Murray Goulburn in set- ting the farm-gate value of milk in southern states. A Senate inquiry into the supermarket price war last year found nationally that most dairy farmers would not be significantly worse off by the price cuts on house-brand milk. Meanwhile, dairy far- mers have accused the Federal Government of having no regard for their future, despite two Senate inquiries into the super- market milk price wars. A report from a Senate inquiry into a decision by the Coles, Woolworths and Aldi supermarket chains to drop their Homebrand milk price to $1-a-litre sid- ed with the supermarkets. It said the price cut had been a win for consumers and had not badly affected Australia's dairy industry. Last week, the Federal Government said issues raised in the report, released in November, were similar to those raised in a 2010 inquiry, Milking it for all it's Worth, and the Australian Competition and Con- sumer Commission (ACCC) would act if anti- competitive behaviour oc- curred. It was noted the ACCC had found no evi- dence of Coles acting in breach of the Trade Prac- tices Act, and it would continue to monitor the grocery sector for anti- competitive behaviour. Mr Griffin accused the Government of hiding behind the ACCC. ''They are hiding behind the ACCC, which has time and again proven itself to be ineffective and power- less against the tactics of the major supermarkets,'' he said. ''The Government has been presented with clear and incontestable evi- dence that Coles' market- ing tactic is adversely af- fecting dairy farming families and action needs to be taken now.'' Through the rock of ages HARD TO BEAT: The rock ramp put to good use. Pictures: DEREK JONES WE have seen some mighty cattle loading ramps, but this one beats all.Reader Derek Jones, from Macquarie Plains, came took these pictures of a split rock formation which has been put to a practical use, at Frank's Breakway Farmstay, at Olinda near Rylstone in New South Wales. The 242ha farm, which includes holiday accommodation, is owned by Reg and Jenny Franks. It is set amongst spectacular scenery in a hidden valley nestled at the foot of towering sandstone outcrops and backs on to the Wollemi National Park. Mr Jones says ''The land is dotted with huge boulders that have eroded from the massive cliffs that surround the valleys. ''This one split in its current resting place. Now it is the strongest cattle loader in the area,'' says Mr Jones. 2005211-120210 TASMANIAN MEMBERS - AWSA Surname Initials Prefix Address Town Phone Badcock & Son FH Fairbank PO Box 16 Hagley 03 6392 2228 Baldock ML Mountain Mist 247a Steele St Devonport 03 6424 2583 Bingham N Kinmel 5 Paloona Road Devonport 03 6427 2101 Cornish G & N Cremorne 706 Nala Rd Pawtella 03 6255 5152 Day PP & KF Sunnybanks 70 Deviation Road Penguin 03 6437 2158 Eastley C Cardello PO Box 282 Deloraine 03 6362 2851 Iles FJ & DM Judell PO Box 13 Sorell 03 6265 2311 Keen R & S Spring Valley 294 Bracknell Road Bracknell 03 6397 3344 McLauchlan JS & KA Leith 308 Moore Road Westbury 03 6393 1299 Moore K&D Penrise POBox6 Campania 03 6260 4313 Moore L.D Lochdale 176 Weavers Lane Campania 03 6260 4480 Thirkell-Johnston A Saundridge 1244 Saundridge Rd Cressy 03 6397 8308 Webberley BJ & N Rodbourne 42 Rodbourne Road Brighton 03 6268 1244 National White Suffolk Conference to be held at Hadspen, February 13-15th For more info go to: www.whitesuffolk.com.au
February 2nd 2012
February 16th 2012