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PacificEdge | November 18, 2017

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The milk wars — it’s not only farmers who are hurting

The milk wars — it’s not only farmers who are hurting
Russ Grayson

The community food movement: a series about the emerging social movement around food…


HOW DOES our current milk war affect you?

If you shop in supermarkets do you go for the brand name milk or the supermarkets’ generic house brand?

And what about the threat to their livelihoods of Australia’s dairy farmers being underpaid for their product? Does this concern you at all?

The answer to those questions could well depend on whether you work and receive a salary or whether you are a pensioner or receive a government support benefit — and if you work whether you are low-paid or one of our growing number of casual workers.



Sympathy for the farmer

The crisis on our dairy industry has brought into focus the long-running question of food’s affordability.

There’s no question that dairy farmers deserve our sympathy and support, as have other farmers when they have faced challenges. But the milk industry isn’t just farmers. It is part of a system that includes farmers, milk processors, milk distributors and milk drinkers. To focus on only one of these is to ignore the others and when you get that you get losers, and I’m not talking just about farmers here.

Open Forum reports on the issue…


  1. Russ Grayson

    The issue if food affordability has been emphasises by Rachel Ankeny, professor of History at the University of Adelaide in an article in The Conservation:

    “Our qualitative research as part of a broader food ethics project has shown that parents in particular are increasingly overwhelmed by pressure to eat “ethically” and feel judged. They ask how they possibly can do the “right” thing on a restricted budget and in extremely limited time: not everyone can grow vegetables and fruit or raise their own chooks, only shop at expensive farmers’ markets, or go to many outlets in order to buy only “ethical” products.

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