COMPETITION is good for the consumer but not the farmer’s pocket, according to Victorian Farmers Federation president Peter Tuohey.
Urging consumers to consider farmers who produced and grew products, Mr Tuohey said there was more than the lowest price to consider at the checkout.
“Prices are still well down on what they need to make reasonable earnings out of,” he said.
“If things go wrong, drought or flood, it makes it very hard to get through those tough times.”
The VFF launched a social media campaign this week urging consumers to pressure supermarkets into using more Australian-grown produce in their house brand lines.
Mr Tuohey said the campaign came on the back of growing public, political and media concern that supermarkets’ use of cheap imports in their house brands was forcing Australian farmers’ produce off the shelves.
The price wars between the supermarket giants was another factor driving down the return to the farmer, he said.
“They’re very competitive of each item and it goes back to the $1 a litre milk campaign,” he said.
“Because they’re selling it so cheap there’s not much margin there for the processor and the processor opts that low cost on the farmer again.”
Mr Tuohey said Australian supermarkets made the biggest profits in the world, making it an appealing location for international chains.
“Aldi’s been here for a while now,” he said.
“There may be more come from overseas.”