Consumers take action on dairy crisis

Shoppers across the nation appear to be showing their support for beleaguered Australian dairy farmers by turning their backs on $1-a-litre supermarket house brand milk.

Instead householders appear to be heeding a call-to-arms by dairy farmers, heralded by The Project's Waleed Aly, to buy branded Australian milk. Images are flooding social media of empty supermarket shelves that once held branded milk such as Paul's and Pura, while the $1-a-litre Coles and Woolworths brands sit almost untouched.

The public support for dairy farmers comes after the two major milk processors, Murray Goulburn and New Zealand owned Fonterra, slashed prices paid to dairy farmers. The price cuts have resulted in many farmers  now being paid the equivalent of 37c a litre, which is below the cost of production. 
Members of the public are also supporting dairy farmers via an online  petition - Save Our Farmers -  on Change.org, which calls on Canberra to put a floor price of 50c a litre on milk, returning 12c a litre to farmers.

The petition has collected more than 31,000 signatures towards a target of 35,000 when the petition will be delivered to Federal Agricultural Minister Barnaby Joyce. 

On Friday the Victorian government announced a $1.5 million package to assist dairy farmers while ANZ Bank announced easing of terms for affected farmers.

However a spokesperson for Australia Food Sovereignty Alliance, Tammi Jonas, said temporary assistance was a short-term solution. "Australian dairy farmers borrow from banks to fund cheap milk and company profits. It is not a sustainable system."