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Milk price war heats up, but the real question is why would you buy it?

February 15th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Vested interests are mounting a major campaign with the price of milk right now and between the farmers, processors and retailers the politics is heating up. How can the major supermarkets sell a litre of milk for less than $1 and what are the consequences of this?

Intensive dairy farming

Intensive dairy farming

To me, the more important question (aside from the effects on the farmers themselves) is what happens to the quality of food when prices are forced so low? Let me illustrate with a recent trip to the supermarket looking for tomato paste. Woolworths had their Select own brand, but where were the ingredients from? China, the home of melamine milk. Leggo’s had another bottle that was packed in Australia with local and imported ingredients, which could have come from China as well for all we know. But the Leggo’s 500g Tomato past with no added salt (even better) won the day with made in Australia from local ingredients. I couldn’t even tell you the price because that’s not even a factor in these matters.

The point is that most of these no brand or Woolworth’s and Cole’s brands and Aldi too for that matter simply outsource their ingredient fulfilling to the cheapest provider. I am sure quality and the integrity of the ingredients is a poor second to price.

So what effect do you think $1 a litre has on the quality of milk? I am sure most of the farms producing huge volumes of milk are owned by corporations and have long since lost the care and concern of the second and third generation dairy farmer. It’s all about profits now and at times at the expense of the animal’s welfare and your health. When profits have primacy then the pressure is on the cow to produce which includes calving and constant and prolific milk production. This demand is often facilitated by the constant use of antibiotics, hormones and other dubious animal welfare practices that all have an impact on the milk that we consume. Thank goodness Australia has banned the use of the growth hormone rBGH, but there is no guarantee that imported milk products are free from this toxin.

When ever I can I always go to my local IGA and purchase quality milk from Maleny Dairies.  Why would you want to save a buck to buy a cheap product that supports a flawed system?

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  1. February 15th, 2011 at 11:10 | #1

    There sure is a lot of concern in the communtiy regarding the quality of this $1/litre milk now on the shelves in Coles and Woolworths. I am a family member of Maleny Dairies and knowing what we do about milk, it concerns us greatly what people are now drinking. When you buy a bottle of $1/litre milk…you are not getting real, wholesome, quality milk. Most of the goodness has been taken from the milk and permeate has been added to increase the volume at a reduced cost. Permeate is the ‘excess’, or ‘leftover’ of ‘waste’ product that is left behind from the cheese making process. It’s a thin watery substance but as it’s originally from milk – then the milk companies don’t have to put anything about it on their labels. They put up to 12% permeate in every bottle of milk.

    Maleny Dairies does not add anything to our milk, nor do we take anything away ie. We don’t standardise our milk. We pride ourselves on the quality of our milk and will not do anything to cut corners to make a better profit for ourselves.

    We do tours here to show people what we’re about and once people try the milk, the most common comment is…”This is how milk used to taste when I was a kid!’.

    Yes our milk is more expensive… (especially with the new low price of Coles etc), but we also pay our farmers what they should be getting to enable them to stay on their farms. There used to be over 50 farms in Maleny before the deregulation in 2000, but now there is only a handful as the price they were getting for their milk less than halved, though their costings went up like everything else. We pay 60 – 65 cents per litre to our farmers for their quality milk, but the other companies were paying their farmers around 55cents/L, but just now reduced it to 47 cents/L….coincidently around the same time as this $1/litre came in.
    Do you think more farms will close?…

    It was devasting to see so many farms subdivide and become houses. Doesn’t the government realise that once the farms are gone, there is no chance for them to come back. What’s going to happen in 20 years when there’s no farms left OF ANY KIND and we have to import everything from overseas… do you think milk will be $1/Litre then and what will it taste like?

  2. admin
    February 17th, 2011 at 09:25 | #2

    Well there you have it. Prices are forced down and the producers fund the loss is return by reducing the quality of the milk. I had never heard of permeate. Just like the processed (junk) food manufacturers, they remove the goodness, add in poisons such as trans-fats, sugar and salt to make it more addictive and give it shelf life and pass it off as food.

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