Price hike decision welcomed: Brownes

Zach RelphCountryman
Tony Girgis CEO of Brownes Dairy
Camera IconTony Girgis CEO of Brownes Dairy Credit: Picture: Simon Santi, Simon Santi The West Australian

Brownes Dairy boss Tony Girgis insists Woolworths’ decision to take $1-per-litre milk out of its refrigerator will allow pricing increases to flow downstream to WA dairy farmers supplying the processor.

Perth-based Brownes is WA’s sole supplier for Woolworths’ private label milk, with dairy sourced from 53 farms contracted to the Girgis-headed company used to produce the products.

Ending the $1-per-litre milk offer is expected to add 2¢-a-litre for all Brownes suppliers.

Speaking with Countryman after Monday’s announcement, Mr Girgis said Woolworths’ milk price hike would benefit the State’s farmers.

“I was very pleased that this step has been taken. It restores, to some degree, confidence back in the dairy industry,” he said.

“In WA, it was a tough year last year and that situation hasn’t eased yet so this decision is definitely welcomed by Brownes.

Under the decision to abolish $1-per-litre milk, Woolworths is now selling its 2-litre and 3-litre fresh milk products for $2.20 and $3.30 respectively. Its 1-litre cartons will remain for sale at $1.20.

Woolworths Group chief executive Brad Banducci said industry consultation had outlined the importance to end the pricing policy to protect dairy farmers.

“We believe the long-term sustainability of our dairy industry — and the regional communities they help support — is incredibly important for Australia,” he said. “In our consultation with industry bodies ... we’ve heard the outlook will continue to be extremely tough for dairy farmers right across the country.

“This is affecting milk production and farm viability ... it’s clear something needs to change and we want to play a constructive role in making this happen.”

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