Dairy

ACM, Saputo and Bulla all announce milk prices

By Rodney Woods

Suppliers of Australian Consolidated Milk will be paid an average price of $7/kg of milk solids for the coming season for their conventional milk, while Saputo will begin the season offering 6.80/kg MS.

For nine months of the year, ACM suppliers will receive $7.20/kg MS, while in spring $6.60/kg MS will be paid.

‘‘On February 18, ACM announced a guaranteed price minimum of $6.50 and since then the dairy market has improved and the Australian dollar has weakened,’’ ACM managing director Michael Auld said.

‘‘The purpose of the guaranteed price minimum was to assist with (suppliers’) planning and decision making for the coming season.’’

Organic milk suppliers will be paid an opening price of $9/kg MS.

While Saputo will pay $6.80 to start the 2019/20 season, the company also announced an increase to its 2018/19 average price, lifting it to $6.15/kg MS.

The company said it would also introduce a single pricing structure and quality standard for all suppliers in the southern milk region from July 1, which aims to promote simplicity, transparency and fairness.

The new pricing structure moves away from individual monthly pricing, with two prices covering August to December and January to July respectively, which the company said would better enable suppliers to operate their farms.

Saputo supplier Stephen Brown, from Gunbower, said it had come at a time when farmers were looking for the best price available.

‘‘We’re coming off the worst year we’ve ever had,’’ he said.

‘‘We are almost getting corralled into finding the best price.

‘‘All we can do, that’s in our control, is decide who we supply and also our (herd) numbers.’’

Victorian Agriculture Minister Jaclyn Symes welcomed the price announcements.

‘‘Milk prices that increase the income of farmers is something that I welcome,’’ she said.

‘‘We’ve seen this Coles direct announcement — I’m pretty interested in finding out more about that.

‘‘I don’t have enough detail yet about the actual impacts but anything that means supermarkets and processors are paying our farmers more when they are facing increasing costs is something that I welcome and it’s promising that the prices are looking okay.’’

Bulla Dairy Foods also announced its opening price last week, with band one suppliers being offered $7.20/kg MS as a starting price.