For as long as Coles refuses to raise the price of milk, I won’t be shopping there. Picture: iStock
For as long as Coles refuses to raise the price of milk, I won’t be shopping there. Picture: iStock

Why I won’t give Coles my money

THIS $1 milk issue makes my blood boil.

Greedy supermarkets are once again putting their profits before our hardworking dairy farmers.

For too long we've heard the dairy industry pleading for supermarkets to raise the cost of fresh milk, warning that $1 a litre is not viable and was sending farmers to the wall.

Coles was the first supermarket to cut milk to $1 a litre way back in 2011, and I've been morally opposed to it since then. While Woolies matched Coles' price for milk I refused to buy it at this cost. Instead, I always buy the brand-label milk, whether it's Great Ocean Road or Dairy Farmers to name a few.

I am not going to let the farmers suffer just because these supermarkets want to offer customers cheap milk at the cost of other people's livelihoods.

While Woolworths has agreed to rise the price of milk, Coles says it plans to keep its pricing at $1 per litre for its homebrand of milk. Picture: AAP/Joel Carrett
While Woolworths has agreed to rise the price of milk, Coles says it plans to keep its pricing at $1 per litre for its homebrand of milk. Picture: AAP/Joel Carrett

So Coles' latest move to dig their heels in and refuse to match Woolworths in raising the price of milk by just 10 cents has made me even more angry. Don't they have a heart?

Woolies this week announced it was getting rid of $1 milk to benefit struggling farmers. All of the 10 cents it added to the price will go direct to farmers. Bravo. But it seems Coles doesn't care enough about farmers to do the same.

Many farmers across the country are suffering severe drought - many are going under, and they need our help. Customers either accept this decision - and some will only care about getting the lowest price - or take action.

I grew up on a farm - sheep, not dairy - and saw the real struggles that primary producers suffer day in day out. It's a bloody tough game and many hardworking farmers feel like they're getting the very barest minimum from supermarkets for their produce. The least any of us can do is refuse to buy $1 milk.

Dairy farmer Dan Portegys was one of many who called for Woolies and Coles to introduce the 10 cent levy. Picture: Bronwyn Wheatcroft
Dairy farmer Dan Portegys was one of many who called for Woolies and Coles to introduce the 10 cent levy. Picture: Bronwyn Wheatcroft

I'm not going to support something that hurts our farmers, even if it means paying a little bit more.

And the stubbornness by Coles now means I won't be doing my regular weekly grocery shop there at all. I need to vote with my feet and show them - and Aldi, who have also refused to raise milk prices - this isn't good enough.

While getting a good price on our goods is important - many of us are battling cost of living strains - it shouldn't be at the cost of someone else's livelihood.

Coles's move to ask shoppers to donate at the counter instead is, in my view, is a cop out.

How many people will actually bother to drop coins in a tin?

Do it properly and up the cost of milk by 10 cents instead.

Sophie Elsworth is News Corp's national personal finance writer.

@sophieelsworth