School milk program will do little to support struggling dairy farmers

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell has welcomed an announcement of a new school milk program, but says the State Government is misleading people to  believe it will widely support the dairy industry.

The Education Minister James Merlino announced the program on Wednesday, which he said would provide milk to schools, while supporting 130 dairy farms in the Shepparton region.

“But when you do the maths, it’s not even going to come close to supporting that many,” Mrs Britnell said.

Under the deal, Pactum Dairy will supply 400,000 litres of milk to the Schools Breakfast Club program.

“The average dairy farm milks around 300 cows, with an output of 1.9 million litres per annum,” Mrs Britnell said.
“400,000 litres is less than a quarter of one farms average output for an entire year.

“So the government says this program will help the Victorian dairy industry, when in reality it will only help a handful of farmers.”

Mrs Britnell said the Minister was trying to make the deal look like a saving grace for the dairy industry, when in reality it is only a token gesture.

“Any support for the dairy industry is welcome, but this will do little to support the thousands of dairy farmers across the state who are struggling.”

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