We need to talk about what we eat. How it’s produced, where and why. We bang on about it all the time “Support local food.” Why do we do this? Our health and livelihoods depend on it.
In the past few weeks the future of our dairy farmers have been cast in doubt as they face drastic cuts in milk payments. A variety of factors impacting current market conditions have been quoted as reasons why the previous milk prices are now deemed unacceptable. It will force many farmers out of the industry.
There’s not a lot you can buy with $2 today, but you can buy 2 litres of milk for $2 at a couple of major supermarket chains. Dairy farmers are telling us it costs more than that to produce it. Seems reasonable to me, it’s a lot of product for $2.
I’d rather pay more for my milk than see our dairy farmers go out of business. Supermarkets have decided to use milk as a loss leader in order to obtain market share from their competitors. Supermarket executives might not deem where and how milk is produced as a matter of concern but I do. So I’d rather pay a bit more for my milk.
When you think about all the processed food products for sale in a standard supermarket, hundreds if not thousands of them, few retail for under $2. If you think you can’t afford to pay more for milk perhaps have a look at what else is in your basket, maybe you could sacrifice a pack of biscuits to support a dairy farmer.
We have been receiving messages from people asking how they can support local dairy farmers and what could they do to help the dairy farmer's current plight. A few things actually.
Rachel Peterkin from Inglenook Dairy sums it up perfectly. We just need people to support local! Not just their milk purchases for home but also support local cafes, eateries, suppliers and markets that are passionate about local produce and care about what they serve their customers and the local food trail.
For anyone interested in trying the delicious Inglenook Dairy milk and cream and supporting a great local dairy producer we will be taking orders from now until 11am Saturday 21st May. You can pick up your Inglenook orders from the Jiggety-Jig Farmers Market this Saturday between 10am and 1pm. You can text your order through on 0407 054 224 or leave your order in the comments below.
You can also sign the petition Barnaby Joyce: dairy farmers like my family are being destroyed - please step in urgently, on change.org, by Chloe Scott. Currently the petition has over 120,000 signatures.
If you have more ideas about how we can support our local producers, feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below. Its an important discussion we need to have and sharing our ideas helps us to make informed choices about our health and well being.