Farmers call for a drought levy of ¢10 per liter on milk in Australia

The Queensland Dairy Organization (QDO), a diary industry lobby group in Australia, has reportedly launched a campaign that urges customers to sign an online petition to support farmers affected by drought. As per trusted sources, QDO has further urged supermarkets to increase milk prices by 10-cents a liter.

Reportedly, the QDO also called for assurance from dairy processors like Norco, Parmalat and Lion that they will redirect the complete levy to the farmers.

QDO president, Brian Tessmann stated that the money would be reimbursed to dairy farmers in the area where the milk was supplied from. The levy would amount close to ¢6 – ¢7 and the entire ¢10 would not be passed on to farmers. However, the dairy processors and retailers need to agree to this arrangement and return the complete portion to the farmer and not just a cut of it, Tessmann elaborated.

According to 9News, last month a similar proposal by Brian Bruston of United Australia Party asked for milk prices to be raised by ¢20 per liter. However, the motion was voted down by the Coalition, Labor and the Greens in the senate.

Reportedly, the recent drought has hit the farming sector quite hard and cost incurred by dairy farmers has gone up significantly. Moreover, the $1 a liter price tag on milk has remained unchanged since 2011, prompting many farmers to shut down their business. Many dairy farmers have reportedly started to give away their cows to someone who could afford to look after them.

According to Brian Tessmann, this levy is a last-ditch effort to bring some respite to farmers and help them recover from this unfortunate turn of events. Tessmann further commented that if the levy happens to fail then it would cause many dairy farmers to go out of business.

Reports cite that discussions about the levy with major processors and supermarkets are in progress.