Coles says it will not raise the price of its milk, despite the move by Woolworths.
Coles says it will not raise the price of its milk, despite the move by Woolworths.

Coles’ surprise reaction to Woolies’ milk price rise

SUPERMARKET giant Coles has issued a surprising response to the decision by rival Woolworths to axe $1-a-litre milk.

Woolies yesterday made the shock decision to raise the price of its supermarket-branded milk by 10c per litre.

A two-litre bottle of milk will cost $2.20 and a three-litre bottle $3.30.

The supermarket giant has said the move will benefit struggling farmers who will receive "every cent" of the price increase.

Coles says it will not raise the price of its milk, despite the move by Woolworths.
Coles says it will not raise the price of its milk, despite the move by Woolworths.

Retail giant Coles responded to the Woolies price hike tonight, stating that they will not rise the price of their house brand milk.

The supermarket said it was "exploring additional options in relation to how to best support Australia's hardworking farmers" but that it was mindful of the cost of living pressures customers are facing.

A spokesperson said Coles continue to support Australian farmers and would collect customer donations at supermarket registers nationally from February 25.

Coles would then match the donations dollar for dollar.

"Coles is passionate about supporting our farmers and producers and in the past six months has committed $16 million to support this important industry," the spokesperson said.

"This includes contributing around $4 million to almost 640 dairy farmers through the Coles Dairy Drought Relief Fund and more than $7 million in partnership with the Country Women's Association, resulting in over 2,300 additional grants for drought-affected farmers.

Dairy farmer Jodie Hay,  with her milking cows on her property in Cohuna,  Victoria. Picture: David Geraghty/The Australian.
Dairy farmer Jodie Hay, with her milking cows on her property in Cohuna, Victoria. Picture: David Geraghty/The Australian.

"Coles has been exploring additional options in relation to how to best support Australia's hard working farmers, including how we ensure that drought assistance initiatives are as efficient and effective as possible. At the moment, there are a variety of different models being adopted by retailers and producers.

"Coles is committed to finding a better model that can be adopted by the industry to assist Australian farmers, and intends to liaise with relevant parties including government and the ACCC.

Woolworths has raised the price of its milk in a move to help farmers.
Woolworths has raised the price of its milk in a move to help farmers.

"In the meantime, Coles will continue to look at ways to support Australian farmers, including by collecting customer donations at our supermarket registers nationally from Monday 25 February, until further notice. Coles will match these donations dollar for dollar.

"Coles also knows that many customers in Australia face cost of living pressures and doesn't want them to be disadvantaged through price increases. We also note that the ACCC has previously examined the Australian dairy industry and concluded that house brand milk pricing does not negatively impact farmgate milk prices.

"Coles is seeking a long-term solution that does not disadvantage our customers and supports our dairy farmers."

Coles, Aldi and Woolworths have been under increasing pressure to raise the cost of fresh milk by the dairy industry that has long said $1 a litre is unsustainable and was sending farmers broke.