Southern Downs dairy farmers met with local member Lawrence Springborg last week.
Southern Downs dairy farmers met with local member Lawrence Springborg last week.

Crying over cheap milk

MILKING something for all it is worth is a frustrating reality for dairy farmers across the Southern Downs.

With the supermarket price wars continuing to keep the price of milk lower thanthey would like, several Southern Downs dairy farmers met with local member Lawrence Springborg last week.

An anonymous dairy farmer who runs 94 head of milkers said their main concern was making ends meet.

"Our latest price cut was by 3c/L around Christmas time but even at 49-50c/L it is still not worth the commodities to feed the cows and such," he said.

"Everything is going up in price - the cost of fuel, wages and living - but we are supposed to produce all this for cheaper than 30 to 40 years ago.

"If things keep going like this in the long run how will supermarkets expect to keep up food flows if there is no one left producing? Import from China?

"A lot of farmers are saying we would be better off in the dole queue because at least that would mean we would have a regular income."

Member for Southern Downs Lawrence Springborg said it was a matter of the price taker versus the price maker.

"What we are seeing is a disconnect between people's understanding of the issue and their conscience," Mr Springborg said.

"These issues are legitimate ones that need a better industry response and to go to government for set rules."

Queensland Dairyfarmers' Organisation (QDO) president Brian Tessmann said the QDO continued to advocate on the big issues that impact the industry.

"We raised these issues with a meeting with the new Queensland Minister for Agriculture John McVeigh last month," Mr Tessmann said.

"While our key focus remains on the Federal Government and the ACCC to take action on this crucial issue, we are also seeking support from the new State Government regarding the industry's recommendations to the Federal Government."



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