QDO praises dairy farmers for standing up against Coles in Brisbane protest rally

FAIR GO: Colleen and Mark Platell were among the Scenic Rim dairy farmers who took part in the protest at the Coles store in Coorparoo.

FAIR GO: Colleen and Mark Platell were among the Scenic Rim dairy farmers who took part in the protest at the Coles store in Coorparoo.

THE QUEENSLAND Dairy Organisation has praised Scenic Rim Dairy farmers for taking the day off work to make a point.

QDO said if the supermarket giant Coles anticipated that the dairy industry would walk away from its eight-year fight to end $1 milk without resolution, then today it was reminded of the industry’s resolve.

Twenty-six dairy farmers from some of the current drought’s worst hit regions including the Darling Downs, Scenic Rim, Sunshine Coast and Gympie, left their farms to join fellow farmers and supporters in a protest at Coles’ Coorparoo store this morning.

QDO's marketing and communications manager Sarah Ferguson said flipping the marketing slogan "good things are happening" launched by Coles last year seemed appropriate for the occasion.

“There is nothing good about this situation," she said. 

"There is nothing good about a single company being able to control the base price for a commodity.

"Coles cannot continue the same old tired rhetoric about how much it has helped farmers through the drought.

"Firstly, the major contribution was made by its customers; and secondly, every supermarket chain did likewise. $1 milk has gone on for 8 years too long.

"It’s time for the Coles Board to say to senior management, enough is enough.

Ms Ferguson said Coles’ continued to ignore what its shoppers wanted and those shoppers wanted to support our farming industries.

"Coles relies on data and market research rather than walking into a store and talking to people," she said.

"Purchasing behaviour does not always equal personal sentiment.

“Coles’ is acting like a bunch of school kids – being bullies and picking on the smaller kids.

"We’re tired of Coles’ arrogance. The Australian public is tired of Coles’ arrogance.

"It’s boring to keep going over the same ground over and over again.

Norco supplier and QDO Vice President, Matt Trace said dairy farmers just wanted to get on with earning a living and running their businesses.

"For goodness sake, it’s just 10 cents," he said.

"Given the past week's soaring temperatures, the dairy farmers attending today’s protest could ill afford to leave their herds.

“If you think it was bad here in Brisbane, you can only imagine the conditions in the middle of a paddock that has no pasture, limited feed and limited water.”