The whole truth about $1 milk: Cass vs Coles

A clever vet student, Cassandra MacDonald, from NSW has created this fabulous infographic to set the record straight. It’s only five minutes (don’t worry, the 13 minutes on the YouTube counter is wrong) but wow, does she pack a punch! Watch this space for more to come about this remarkable young woman.

24 thoughts on “The whole truth about $1 milk: Cass vs Coles

  1. It’s a great video for sure but beyond the Coles issue it says to me that there are too many dairy farms in NSW and QLD producing too much milk for the fresh milk market they are supplying. As well, as an industry, these farmers have left themselves completely vulnerable because they have not invested in new capital (processing) for alternative markets. Milk is hardly unique in this regard: http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/article/2013/02/27/561382_horticulture.html
    http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/201210/s3616387.htm

    The other issue that I still cant get my head around is how the fresh milk issue is directly relevant to the southern markets where there are alternatives and the grower owned cooperative(s) dont have to sell to Coles or Woolies. 50% of MG revenue is from overseas – if Coles wants to pay crap prices, why not ignore them and sell overseas?

    • Hi Ian,
      There are a few factors that influence the seasonal oversupply issues in nsw/qld. Firstly milk companies win contracts, force farmers to expand to meet the contracts and then just as everyone hits the target, they lose the contract. Framers then have to rapidly cut production whilst the new winner ramps up production.
      Competition policy has forced the loss of manufacturing capability as part of the big companies taking over the little ones. Vics have the manufacturing advantage over us too.
      Its all a big mess and there is no easy solution. Also it doesnt take too big a flood to cause a large undersupply scenario.
      I think companies are scared not to bid for the contracts in case they lose their space on the shelf altogether.

      • Thanks Julie

        Same as for watermelons, grapes, oranges, wool, wheat, lambs, you name it… and an unfortunate consequence of commodity selling. Farmers become price takers rather than price makers.

        I’m still not sure why ‘the south’ don’t just tell Coles to go jump and sell pretty much everything overseas. Maybe the international prices are not much good as well.

        • “Maybe the international prices are not much good as well.” Well, actually, the international prices are good at the moment in US dollar terms. The high Australian dollar is cruelling the pitch for us, along with all Australian exporters.

    • I have tried to get the today show and also A Current Affair to watch it. I’m trying to get my sisters words heard all over.

      • Hi Nicola did your sister do the drawings also they are amazing. I’ve been buying milk from Aussie farmers direct for a few years now to support the farmers. I’ve shared this on my Facebook and hope it changes people’s minds. Thanks Cassandra you are very talented let’s hope u get a bigger chance to change the way the farmers are paid. Well done awesome talents for a business of your own. Jodie Victoria

  2. Reblogged this on Reading, Writing and Riesling and commented:
    This explains a lot about supermarket shopping and marketing – I think the big chain supermarkets also contribute to this loss of sustainability a the farm gate by reducing choice on shelves- now so many “home brands” and not many branded choices forcing you to select the the shops home brand. Shops are large – choice is disappearing.

  3. Check your superannuation fund, chances are you own Westfarmers shares who own Coles. How as comsumers do we indirectly support this type of actively?

  4. Brilliant explanation and I’m so pleased that the term ‘corporate greed’ was utilised. It should be spoken about more often but these days gets supplanted by fluffy business euphemisms to distract and obfuscate. So, apart from exploitation of the primary producer add to that Coles’ and Woolworths’ at-arm’s-length commitment to the gambling industry and one can see a picture of exploitation of vulnerable members of the community in the name of good business practises. And they’ll deny any harm being done by them until the cows come home.

  5. I pay $4.55 for 2 litres of non halal non homogenized milk 3 times per week happily. Anyone willing to pay less for milk than they pay for water who cant see something is seriously dodgy needs to give their head a good shake.

  6. Well explained. Woolworths are just as bad. Please don’t forget that. its a pity all the processors haven’t got the guts to work together and stand up United against these 2 greedy pigs and refuse to roll over for them.

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  8. Consumers are more powerful than Coles! Once we realise this we can go into shops/supermarkets like Coles and refuse to buy the products that disadvantage dairy farmers and other farmers! When consumers combine like they did after Waleed Aly called for a boycott of coles brand milk, sales of Coles brand milk dropped. Hang onto your power. Use it wisely. We can help dairy farmers at our end.

    • I agree, Briony. The signal that shoppers are sending is priceless. Wayne and I are so grateful that consumers care. And if we can use that support from everyday Aussies to bring about real change because they have triggered interest from govts, ACCC and regulators it will make a huge lasting difference.

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