Money where your milk is

By Grace Jones | posted on March 22, 2019

YORK Street IGA and Spencer Park IGA proprietor Paul Lionetti is trying to make a difference for struggling dairy farmers in the region by proposing an optional price increase on the two litre Country Dairy milk by 70 cents.

Mr Lionetti announced last week that he would offer customers the opportunity to add a 70 cents surcharge to be donated to dairy farmers within a 100km radius of Albany.

York St IGA store manager Sharon Oreo said Mr Lionetti felt that farmers were not getting anything for their milk.

“Other supermarkets have been talking about their milk prices going up but what the majority of that price increase goes to we’re not sure,” she explained.

“With what Paul wants to do we’ll deal directly with the dairy.”

Ms Oreo said they would be offering customers the chance to support farmers in a way that would ensure farmers would received 100 per cent of the money promised.

“We’ll have a committee that oversees how the money is distributed that is formed by public members and not done in house,” she said.

“We understand that 70 cents can be a lot of money for people who can’t afford to pay $2.69 for their $1.99 milk, which is why we made it optional.”

North Road IGA owner Bob Cebula said his establishment had raised their milk prices by 10 cents per litre to “support WA dairy farmers”.

Ms Oreo said on average the York St grocery sold 2200 units of the full cream Country Dairy milk a week and 700 units of hilo.

“If all 2900 units are sold with the extra 70 cents there will be around $2000 a week going to farmers. It’s a lot of money,” she said.

“We’re still planning the details of how everything will run though.

“It’s still a fresh idea, it’s a new idea and we’re just getting the ball rolling with it all.”

Ms Oreo said if dairy farmers in the region were interested in participating in the optional price increase or if members of the public wanted to get involved to contact Paul Lionetti on 0418 945 420.