Customers the best advocates

NSW Farmers is urging local consumers to use their power to demand fair pricing for dairy products like fresh milk, cheese and butter.

NSW Farmers Dairy Committee Chair and Cowra dairy farmer Colin Thompson said the consumer is a dairy farmer's best advocate.

According to Mr Thompson more than 90 per cent of dairy consumers said they would pay more for generic brand milk in polls run by the NSW Farmers Association on Facebook and Twitter.

"We need a fair price for our dairy products to ensure farmers can continue producing," Mr Thompson said.

"The retail price of fresh milk must start at $1.50 per litre."

Mr Thompson said that it is due to the decrease price of supermarket brands own dairy products that is the crux of the issue.

"The supermarkets' private label milk and cheese products have been heavily discounted for a long time now and it has taken its toll on the industry."

Mr Thompson believes that if action on the price doesn't occur there will be a continued decline in the number of dairy farmers across the state.

"If something doesn't happen soon, dairy farmers will continue to exit the industry.

"Our industry has lost 51 farmers in the past 12 months in NSW and the situation is even worse in states like Queensland."

Mr. Thompson said consumers will be the ones who lose out if more dairy farmers leave the industry and he is encouraging all consumers to contact with the big retailers to share their concerns.

Cowra dairy farmer and head of the NSW Dairy Farmers Association Colin Thompson.

Cowra dairy farmer and head of the NSW Dairy Farmers Association Colin Thompson.

"If farmers continue to exit the dairy industry, the availability of fresh and local dairy products will be under threat.

"Australians are accustomed to having access to these products, especially fresh milk of a high quality.

"We don't want consumers to lose access to these products, but we need them to demand a fair price for farmers."

According to Mr Thompson consumers should be afraid of the prospect of further farmers leaving the dairy industry.

"The thought of losing fresh milk from supermarket shelves is a scary one.

"It will become a reality if consumers do not demand a fair price for their dairy products.

"Farmers need a fair price for their milk to create a functioning dairy market. It's only about restoring the equilibrium for the dairy industry."

Mr Thompson said the small price increase will be enough to help the problems faced by NSW dairy farmers.

"A $1.50 per litre milk price ensures all within the supply chain can make reasonable margins and that Australians consumers can continue to enjoy fresh milk."

Mr Thompson urges consumers to get in touch with the major retailers to demand higher prices for generic label dairy products.