Woolworths Announces Drought Relief Private Brand Milk to Support Dairy Farmers

Australian retailer Woolworths will launch a limited-edition private brand milk range in Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, and Victoria beginning in mid-October 2018 to help provide short-term relief to drought-stricken dairy farmers on the eastern seaboard.

The new Drought Relief range will offer customers additional private brand Woolworths Full Cream and Woolworths Lite Milk varieties at $2.20 for two liters and $3.30 for three liters, with the extra 10 cents per liter to go to dairy farmers in drought-affected areas.

The supermarket will work with its private brand fresh milk suppliers who source milk from drought-affected regions to set up a drought relief oversight committee. This committee, which will include an independent auditor and dairy industry representation, will ensure the extra 10 cents per liter paid to suppliers is distributed to dairy farmers.

Woolworths Director of Fresh Food Paul Harker said; “There’s no doubt many dairy farmers are doing it tough in the face of the drought and we’re keen to support them through this difficult time.

“Many of our customers have told us they want to help and are willing to pay more for their milk to do so.

“This new range of drought relief milk will provide customers with that choice, safe in the knowledge the extra money will flow through to dairy farmers in drought-affected areas.”

Until the new drought relief range hits the shelves, Woolworths has increased its existing three-liter milk from $3 to $3.30 in Queensland, New South Wales, ACT and Victoria to ensure drought relief funds start flowing through to dairy farmers as quickly as possible. These are popular lines with our customers and represent around half the volume sold in the Woolworths branded range.

In April 2018, the ACCC handed down its findings and recommendations for the dairy industry following an exhaustive 18-month inquiry.

Mr Harker added; “We’re clear this won’t solve the wider structural issues facing the dairy industry, given Woolworths branded milk accounts for less than 5% of Australia’s total milk production.

“The ACCC has made a number of sensible, evidence-based recommendations that address the core issues impacting the dairy industry.

“This move is about easing some of the immediate pressure brought on by drought, while government and industry work through the long-term reform agenda needed to ensure future generations of dairy farmers can prosper.”

Woolworths will also continue to offer customers one, two and three liter varieties of its Farmers’ Own range between $1.50 and $2 per liter.

The Farmers’ Own range, first launched in 2013, sees Woolworths source milk directly from Australian dairy farmers in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia. Through these direct supply relationships, we can offer dairy farmers a better deal on milk supply.

Woolworths customers can also continue supporting dairy farmers by buying local dairy brands and national brands who are implementing their own drought relief measures on shelf.

Woolworths 2L Full Cream and Woolworths 2L Lite Milk will remain available for customers at $2.

The dairy relief milk range builds on the $7 million Woolworths has raised for Rural Aid’s Buy a Bale program in support of Australian farmers.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.