Coles and Woolworths have lifted the price of their own-brand milk after pressure from the Nationals and farmers.

NSW Nationals MP Andrew Fraser was among those calling for dairy farmer drought relief after years of cut-price milk sales.

“I welcome Coles and Woolworths’ decision in announcing they will introduce a milk levy to help drought-affected farmers,” Mr Fraser said. “Whilst this is a short-term measure to assist dairy farmers through the drought, the reality is that dairy farmers have been doing it tough for a long time and need a permanent increase in farmgate prices for their produce.”

Far too often, Mr Fraser said, major retailers used perishable farming goods such as milk, eggs and vegetables, as ‘loss leaders’, which in every case effected the productivity and the economic viability of farmers.

“The farmgate price for milk has not risen for eight years and dairy farmers have absorbed the increased cost of inputs themselves,” Mr Fraser said. “The major retailers and governments have an obligation to ensure that the farming sector is resilient, sustainable, environmentally responsible and economically viable.”