Retailers milking the profits

I sent a letter to Coles today. I’ve never done it before, but something is making me very angry about milk.  I had to use a sterile online feedback form, as I don’t happen to have Archie Norman’s direct email (though I tried looking for something remotely corporately close), and this is what I wrote:

My feedback is directed to Mr Archie Norman, or, if this is not possible through this channel, to the Manager of the Rockingham store who could forward on my feedback.

I am very concerned about the milk price war, and I am not happy that Coles jeopardises the livelihoods of primary producers for a short-term advantage – especially in the lower socio-economic areas like Rockingham where lower prices are more of a ‘sure thing’.

This is not the likes of mega-manufacturers such as Uncle Toby’s or Goodman Fielder who are being affected, but family suppliers.

The issue has already gained widespread media coverage, and my gauging of public opinion is that most people are siding with the dairy farmers.

When the dairy farmers go bust – what then happens to the price of milk?? It will be more expensive than it already was due to the lack of supply.

As a former proud Wesfarmers employee, and current shareholder, I have to tell you that I just couldn’t buy the cheap milk when in the store yesterday.

I will continue to pay a higher price for locally-produced milk rather than be part of this short-sighted retail strategy.


Safety Bay

It’s an interesting feeling when you hit the ‘send’ button after writing something like that.

Part of me feels like a purse-lipped ol’ battler, having a whinge about “it’s just not right, you’d never have that in my day” etc, and another part of me is thinking that there’s an awful lot I don’t know about the retail industry, and especially the machinations of this particular episode. I don’t know what deals are being done, and who might or might not be benefiting.

But after my supermarket visit yesterday, it seems I’m not the only one thinking about this.  ABC news has posted this story which explains it better.

What worries me more is just how symptomatic this is of the gulf between primary producers and consumers – and how the flashing dollar signs can confuse us, depending on how we are living our lives.

[Thanks to for the image.]

Are you buying the cheaper milk?


  1. I am with you in supporting local produce. So much so that I make a point of avoiding Coles and Woolies if at all possible. The local IGA (also having owners questionable ethics), does at least stock local produce amongst mass produced produce.


  2. Yes – supporting local produce has got to be the way of the future.
    We have so little control of what comes in to the country – where will they get their cheap milk from when local producers have gone bust? Milk is only healthy in the diet if it is from grass-fed cows and has limited processing. Otherwise we are consuming only problems.


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