Article by: Hari Yellina
Australians have noticed Coles has quietly raised the price of its own-brand milk after a farmer explained why the cost of the white stuff keeps rising. On Wednesday, a photo of a 3L carton of Coles full cream milk with a $4.50 price tag—a jump of 60 cents—was posted to the Facebook group “Simple Savers.” The client also mentioned that pricing for other sizes had gone up. Both the 2L and 1L are now $3.10 (up from $2.60 and $1.35, respectively). Customers can still buy milk on the Coles website for the original price as of Thursday, though.
On Wednesday night, Coles announced that the price of its own-brand milk has increased. However, Coles has not responded to queries from news.com.au on why the price has not changed online and whether it will at some time. In December of last year, the store raised its milk prices by 10c per litre, joining Woolworths and Aldi in doing so. The increase was the first in more than two years. Coles claimed that price increases were necessary due to recent increases in sourcing, shipping, and packing expenses. Additionally, a significant increase in farmgate pricing paid to dairy farmers is included, which some of the supermarket’s suppliers have applauded. Leah Weckert, the chief commercial officer of Coles, said: “We are aware that customers are under more pressure to manage their costs of living.
“Raising prices is never something we do lightly, but these increases on Coles Brand milk products are necessary due to the rising supply chain expenses we are facing, including higher payments to dairy farmers and processors. “Farmers and processors have responded well to the recent farmgate and wholesale price rises, and we hope consumers will continue to support them by buying their excellent Australian milk,” the statement reads. Coles claimed in a statement that, as of July 1, it has been paying a higher price at the farmgate. Colin Thompson, the chair of the NSW Farmers dairy committee, stated that 29 farms departed the dairy industry in the previous fiscal year and that more would follow unless major supermarkets and milk processors paid farmers more for their milk.
The simplest approach to deal with the issue, he added, is to ensure there is a enough supply by paying farmers a fair price. “These price increases announced by Coles are a result of declining supply driving the market up,” he said. The fact that 29 farms have been lost in the past year is a pretty solid indication that’s not easy for farmers, who need to at least break even in their enterprises. Natural disasters and rapidly rising input costs have further reduced farmers’ profit margins, he claimed, while seasonal conditions in NSW have been reported to have caused 30–40% declines in milk output. “A good supply of milk is required if we are to prevent rising milk prices in supermarkets, and that cannot occur if farmers leave their businesses,” he explained.
Over the past few months, the cost of vegetables such as lettuce, carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, and broccoli has also gone up. Online users were stunned by the discovery and provided the woman with a list of possible replacements. “You just shocked me,” I purchase lactose-free milk, but I haven’t considered the cost. One woman commented, “I believe I will have to purchase my husband normal milk and only get a 1L for me!” Others claimed that long-life milk options are typically less expensive than fresh milk. One member said, “I have been buying the Coles brand 1L lactose free full and lite milk for a long time now, $2.50 for a 1ltr carton and you’ll find it next to the Zymil in the fridges. “Long life milk is more affordable and has a decent flavour. Another said, “I used to buy A2 and now use Devondale long life in my cereal; buying at Costco also makes it more affordable.
One person mentioned using 1L Aldi milk, while another suggested low-fat powdered milk, which can be purchased for only $8 at Woolworths or Coles.