‘Australian companies don’t want our milk’: Dairy farmer
PROSTON dairy farmer, Steve Wilkinson sells his milk to a foreign-owned company. But he has no choice.
No other supplier will take his milk.
And there is nothing he can do about it.
Mr Wilkinson would rather sell his milk to an Australian company, but the French-based company Parmalat, which owns Paul's dairy products, is the only company willing to take it.
"Australian companies don't want our milk," he said.
Because of volume and location, Mr Wilkinson's dairy farm is not a suitable choice for a number of milk companies.
"A few years back, they said we only want farmers who are producing so much and have to be a certain distance from the factory," Mr Wilkinson said.
"So even if you were a big supplier they wouldn't want it."
Mr Wilkinson said other South Burnett dairy farmers made contact with Australian owned businesses, such as Norco, but they were not interested.
"They said if you're further west than Kingaroy we don't want to know you.
The resilient Proston farmer was concerned that if Parmalat went down the same road as the other processors he could not be confident of his farm's future.
"It's not as if all the other processors are falling at my feet," he said.
He believed part of the problem was that Australian entrepreneurs were not interested in investing their money into the dairy industry.
"All the mining magnates prefer to stick to mining," Mr Wilkinson said.
Currently, there are serious talks of milk prices rising to benefit the farmers.
Mr Wilkinson believed increasing the cost to $1.50 per litre was not an unreasonable price for consumers to pay.
"People don't think twice if the price of Netflix goes up," he said.
"Or if the price of Big Mac burgers went up $1, do you think any one would stop going to McDonald's?
"It's just really a mental thing."