What would you say to encourage other dairy farmers to share their stories? Well, today, I am be doing just that, speaking to attendees of the Holstein Australia AGM via the internet and my message will be simply this:
“Whether we know it or not, ordinary Australians – farmers and non farmers – are fighting a desperate battle for good, fresh food against the Goliaths who increasingly control what we grow and what we eat.
The statistics are frightening. As ethical.org.au reports,
“Australia has one of the most concentrated grocery markets in the world. Woolworths and Wesfarmers (owner of Coles) account for almost 80% of supermarket sales, 60% of alcohol retail, 50% of petrol retail and 40% of all retail in Australia.”
According to an investigation by The Age one in every four grocery items now sold in Australian supermarkets is private label and, of those, about one in two is imported.
And who can blaim the Aussies happily scooping up the bargains? There is no warning label on these homebrand goods warning that choice and freshness will be the casualty. To make matters worse, we farmers don’t have the advertising and PR budgets to get the message heard.
But we do have people power. If you’re a little person, the only way to fight a Goliath is to think differently. The “Accidental Activist”, Jane Burney, did it with a rant on the Coles Facebook page. So can we.
If you want to stay on the land or continue to enjoy high quality fresh food, please spread the word. Buying private label milk isn’t a sin but if you decide to make that choice, make it an informed choice.