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Land of milk and money

Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer.

“In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result of high world milk prices.  

“International prices have now halved – farmers are getting half of what they did – yet New Zealand milk prices have climbed.

“It’s time the Government admitted its excuse two years ago was just that: a fudge to keep Kiwis quiet about the fact they’re being ripped off.

“Statistics New Zealand figures show the average New Zealand price of two litres of milk in May 2013 was $3.19. In May this year it had jumped to $3.45.

“Kiwis now pay more for milk than Australians and the British – and their prices have dropped.

"While our milk prices have risen 8 per cent over the past two years, Australian and British retail milk prices have dropped 16 per cent.

“Compared to our $3.45 for a two litres of milk, Australians pay just NZ$2.47and it sells for NZ$1.90 in the UK.

“There’s something seriously out of whack when you can buy milk cheaper in London than you can at your local dairy.

“Clearly it’s the milk processors and retailers who are creaming it, because New Zealand farmers are getting less; farmgate milk prices dropped from 73c a litre in 2013/14 to 38c a litre in 2014/15, while retail prices rose.

“It’s all looking a bit too cosy and Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has some explaining to do.

“Milk has been an important daily staple for generations of New Zealanders. At a time when child obesity and diabetes are causing major problems in our health system, it seems perverse that Coca-Cola is now more affordable than fresh milk,” David Shearer says.

 Contact: David Shearer 021 270 4010