Dairy farmer Paul Roderick talks about the price of milk in the Queensland market.
Dairy farmer Paul Roderick talks about the price of milk in the Queensland market. Inga Williams

Ipswich wants to pay farmers more for milk

IPSWICH shoppers are happy to pay more for milk at Coles and Woolworths, but only if profits go back to dairy farmers.

When asked if they would pay more for milk to save Australia's dairy industry, QT readers' said they would pay at least $1.50 per litre as long as those profits didn't go into the pockets of processors or the major supermarkets.

"Why did it take so many years of $1/L milk before all the bandwagoners decided to buy the branded milk? Dairy farmers have been struggling since cheap milk was introduced around five years ago," Scott Thomson said.

VIDEO: Dairy farmer calls for support

Rod Fuller said: "I am a pensioner and would pay $1.50 per litre if I knew the profit was going back to the dairy farmer, but with these big companies who knows how they purchase this product."

Kay Ritson suggested shoppers buy from small operators that were also Australian-owned.

Dairy farmers in battle for better milk price deal

"If the supermarkets want to reduce the price of milk on their shelves to bring more customers into their stores then shouldn't they reimburse the dairy farmers?" Amanda Draheim asked.

"I am more than happy to pay a fair price for milk and support the dairy industry, but I am not willing to subsidise a marketing campaign that the supermarkets introduced."

Scott Jackson agreed, saying "I'd pay $1.50 that's a fair price so long as it's going to the farmer and not Coles or Woolworths."

Meanwhile the Federal Government will offer struggling farmers $555-million in concessional loans to help producers affected by recent milk price cuts.

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce today announced the package, stating the loans would go as low as 2.66% but were currently set at 2.71% interest.

Farmers will be able to borrow up to $1 million or half of what they owe with loans available for up to 10 years.

Mr Joyce said the loans would be funded by expanding the existing drought concessional loans scheme.

The challenges facing dairy farmers are complex. For a simple summary of the issue check out APN journalist Molly Glassey's article below:

EXPLAINED: The problem facing dairy farmers in 165 words

HOSTILITIES erupted throughout the nation's supermarkets on Australia Day 2011, when Coles slashed the price of milk to $1 a litre.

Woolworths and Aldi quickly retaliated, raising the fury and concern of farmers, who said they would be forced to ditch the industry as supermarkets crunched the profit margins of dairy processors.

That left dairy farmers selling their product below the cost of production.

The problem is the price of production keeps growing while milk prices decrease under the $1 milk campaign's ten year contract.

VIDEO: Waleed Aly explains dairy issue

Harrisville dairy farmer Ross McInnes said the price of milk in south-east Queensland has gone up 20% since the early 90s.

"However, the CPI has gone up 79%, the average wage has gone up 153%," he said.

It's forcing farmers to sell milk at 1992 prices on 2016 operational costs.

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