FARMERS HAVE voiced their disapproval at the Victorian Farmers Federation’s decision to renegotiate its Farmers’ Fund milk contract with Coles.
United Dairyfarmers of Victoria members were told at the UDV annual conference last month that the contract would be renegotiated with Coles before it ends in September.
Forty cents from every two litre bottle of the Farmers Fund labelled milk sold through Coles is redistributed in the form of grants, which farmers must apply for.
The sixth round of Farmers’ Fund applications closed on May 31. Farmers could apply for grants of up to $10,000, with farmers affected by the recent fires in south west Victoria prioritised.
VFF President David Jochinke said $500,000 in grants would be distributed this round, taking the total amount of funds distributed since the program started two years ago to $2 million.
However, UDV members were unimpressed to hear that the contract would be renegotiated with Coles, who continue to sell their own private label milk for $1/litre.
Gippsland dairy farmer Bernhard Lubitz told the conference the contract was akin to “doing a deal with the devil”.
Others questioned what percentage of sales was actually returned to farmers.