‘Mass exodus’: Farmer calls on public support amid crisis
Customers are being urged to take a stand with their wallets as the dairy industry is hit with a mass exodus of farmers.
Maleny Dairies’ Ross Hopper is calling on the public to support Queensland’s regional dairy farms as staggering numbers of farmers are turning their backs on the industry.
“In Regional Queensland, 1200 dairy farmers have left the industry in the past 20 years,” he said.
“We need to slow down this mass exodus of farmers and start paying our farmers the right price.”
The Coast is among many regions hit with decreasing numbers of dairy farmers as 33 Maleny dairies have dwindled down to just eight over the past 20 years.
“Most farmers in Maleny wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for Maleny Dairies paying the right price,” Mr Hopper said.
“If we can pay the farmers properly so can everyone else.”
This comes after people power reigned supreme in March 2019 when multi nationals were forced to raise the price of their $1 per litre milk due to massive public backlash.
But Mr Hopper said there was still a long way to go to strengthen the dairy industry.
“(Milk prices are) still way too cheap,” he said.
“Coles and Woollies couldn’t sell it for a dollar if the processors didn’t give it to them on the cheap and paid farmers the right price.
“All the cream is going overseas and multi nationals don’t care.”
The passionate farmer encouraged milk lovers to have a think about where their dollars were going when choosing milk.
“The more we change our habits and buy from local industries, the stronger and healthier they become,” he said.
“We’ve got to react now or there’ll be no milk left in Queensland.”