Design a warning label for cheap milk

The people who make milk and the people who drink it are on the same side. We all want safe, high quality food at a reasonable price without compromising the way we care for our animals or land. Put simply: sustainable food.

But when you stand in front of the supermarket fridge, there’s no way of telling what is sustainable. There’s nothing on the label that says: “WARNING: Buying milk at $1 per litre will mean your fresh milk will soon be flown to China“.

My advice is to keep it simple and steer clear of plain label milk. It’s looking after the interests of the big end of town and all the little people – milk producers and milk lovers – are the ones who will ultimately pay the price. It’s time for us all to make a stand – please tell everyone who will listen.

11 thoughts on “Design a warning label for cheap milk

  1. Just visiting after hearing about your blog from ‘Down To Earth’. Have just been reading lots of posts. I will have to refer your blog to some our farm stay visitors as we get lots of questions about the truth in dairying. We are lucky enough in the Hunter Valley to have a couple of really brave dairy men who have started their own label and produce their own milk to sell in the local small shops(Udder Farm is our favourite). The difference in the beautiful creamy taste between this and Supermarket UHT milk/permeate milk is so noticiable that our children refuse to drink any milk other than the one that comes from the corner shop from a local farmer.
    We have made a promise to ourselves never ever to buy the $1 milk and encourage our farm stay visitors to do the same when they go back to the city. Keep up the great work!!


    • Thanks very much, Kim. I really appreciate your support and I know other farmers will too. It makes sense for Australians to band together in defense of good food – I just fear that not enough of us know just what’s at stake.


  2. But it is not just about the price of the milk. It is who owns the company. I went to great lengths to find where I could buy Australian Milk from an Australian owned company after I discovered that in NSW, the ‘Dairy Farmers’ brand – which is expensive – is owned by a Japanese Beer company. This information is not freely available. I now buy ‘Farmers Direct’ brand (delivered to my door) as they advertise that they are Australian owned. The milk also tastes like real milk!

    How can consumers know if they want to do the right thing when there is a wall of silence on milk coop ownership. From what I can see, most of NSW has been bought out by large, overseas owned corporations.

    Pete (Central Coast NSW)


    • Peter, The Lion Group I understand are also overseas owned. They were formerly an Australian listed company called National Foods. Fonterra from New Zealand were outbid at the time to buy them out. So now the profits are going to Asia. Buying Australian and going for Source of Origin Labelling is the answer as I see it. At least Fonterra (an NZ based Coop) returns its worldwide profits back to the N.Z. Farmer/owners.


      • Dear art4agriculturechat, I want to support Australian Dairy Farmers. Given the choice of farmers supplying An Australiian Company and an Overseas owned company, I am prepared to pay more for the Aussie organisation. What I don’t like is the cloud of uncertainty over who owns what. ‘Dairy Farmers’ brand is a case in point. It is marketed as Aussie when profits go overseas. In my area, it seems more and more people are getting their good quality milk delivered to their door by Aussie Farmers Direct in spite of cheaper unbranded milk. I am hoping that they pay a fair farmgate price but that information does not come through to the consumer. Just hope it remains in Aussie ownership.


  3. Marian
    Sorry if I sound like a broken record but arent the type of activities you suggest the sort of things you are paying your Co-op to do? I just think you guys are getting badly let down by your marketing.


  4. Hi Kim, we sometimes buy Hunter Valley ‘Over the Moon’ Milk from our local farmers’ market but it is only available once a fortnight. I believe they are antoher ‘go it alone’ farmer selling directly to public. It is also unhomogenised.



  5. Here in New Zealand there are some Farmers who are able to sell a certain amount of Fresh Milk directly to the Public. There is a limit in the quantity that can be sold, otrherwise food safetry regulations are applied. Those Farmers that do sell the permitted amount definetely do have a following.


  6. Hi Kim,
    I just linked over from Down to Earth – thank you for writing your blog, I buy my milk from Aussie Farmers (delivered to my door), who support Aussie Dairy Farmers and are permeate free. I have been tempted to buy the cheap milk at Coles, but haven’t because I feel that if I am buying the milk for $1 a litre I can’t imagine how little the farmer is being paid.


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