CONSUMER trend experts in food say the concept of a fair milk price logo is worth pursuing from the perspective of securing a premium, niche market.
A fair milk price logo private members bill is currently under investigation by a Queensland parliamentary committee, designed to inform consumers the region where the milk was produced and that the dairy farmer received a certain minimum price for the milk.
Farmers believe it will play a role in providing transparency for milk consumers and will be a way to ‘fight back’ at the $1-a-litre retail milk trend that has shattered their ability to stay profitable.
Processors and retailers, however, have expressed doubt that consumers will support milk featuring the logo if the product comes at a higher price.
The Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology’s general manager industry services Sarah Hyland said the concept spoke to natural consumer segmentation.
“Consumers are not all exactly the same,” she said.
“There will always be a group for whom the cheapest offer is always the best but equally there are growing sectors who are prepared to pay for various attributes.
“The knowledge they are doing good, either for the environment or for farmers, is definitely one of those attributes.
“These consumers have the disposition and funds to make that choice but need the mechanism to know what to buy.
Ms Hyland pointed to the groundswell of support for branded dairy that came in the wake of social media campaigns highlighting the plight of dairy farmers whose incomes were slashed last year.
“Consumers retaliated when they saw the price cuts imposed on farmers in May last year,” she said.
“There are consumers who are concerned about what supermarket-owned cheap milk means for the people on the land.
“People in the community ask me all time, which brands can I buy to support Australian dairy farmers.
“So the demand is out there, which indicates there is rationale in pursuing such a concept.”