Landry to lobby Barnaby as dairy farmers face ruin
FEDERAL member for Capricornia Michelle Landry has thrown her support behind struggling central Queensland dairy farmers who say they could fold due to supermarket chain cost cutting.
Ms Landry met this week with representatives from Capricornia's dairy industry to learn more about the impact on farmers of big supermarket chains' slashing of the price of generic milk brands.
She said local dairy farmers warned they could go to the wall because of price cutting by Coles and Woolworths.
"Between the increasing cost of production and price cutting on generic milk brands by the giant supermarkets, the local industry says it could be decimated within five years," Ms Landry said.
"Already many farmers have left the industry due to prices being forced down by supermarkets bidding to lure customers through their doors."
Ms Landry said many Capricornia milk consumers might not realise that ridiculously low prices of one dollar for a litre of milk was unsustainable and came at a huge cost to milk producers struggling to cover the cost of production.
"Last year Coles and Woolworths appeared before a Senate inquiry into the milk price wars," she said.
"But it still continues to cause our local farmers great hardship."
Port Curtis Dairy Cooperative chairman Peter Woodland told Ms Landry during a meeting this week in Mackay the number of local dairy farmers in CQ had fallen from 50 to 35 in the past two years.
Ms Landry and her federal colleagues George Christensen (Member for Dawson) and Ken O'Dowd Member for Flynn will invite Federal Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce to CQ to discuss the issue.
Dairying is undertaken around Eungella, Milman and The Caves in the Capricornia electorate and other parts of Central Queensland.