The nation’s supermarkets have fired the latest salvo in the milk war with dairy farmers, with Coles and Woolworths making a commitment to selling $2 cows at their major metropolitan supermarkets.
In recent weeks, the nation’s farmers have garnered national attention and empathy over reports that many of them were in financial crisis as a result of the cheap home-brand milks being sold in supermarkets. Consumers quickly came to the aid of the farmers, buying up brand name milks and leaving the cheaper supermarket alternatives languishing on the shelves.
But now, Coles and Woolworths have struck back, with a win-at-all-costs plan to defeat dairy farmers by beating them at their own game. Broken News has learned that the supermarkets will soon trial a program whereby cows are sold for two dollars each. An instructional milking video will be provided with each cow, at no extra charge.
“If people care about dairy farmers so much, this is their chance to become one,” a supermarket executive who did not wish to be named told BrokenNews.com.au
“These days everyone is banging on about freshness and farm-to-plate. Well it doesn’t get much fresher than milking your own cow. And we’re about to give our customers the opportunity to do just that,” he added.
Farmers fear that the plan will eventually put them out of business. “If everyone has their own cow, they won’t need us at all,” cattle farmer Greg Jackson told Broken News via phone from his property in the NSW Riverina. “We never saw this coming, but if it goes ahead, we just won’t have a viable business model anymore.”
Although the real cost to the supermarkets of a cow is substantially more than the two dollar price that they’re offering to consumers, it’s a hit that the supermarkets are willing to take. They secretly hope that by enticing customers to their stores with cut-price cows, they can then sell other grocery items and household goods at greater margins.
The RSPCA has slammed the supermarket plan, saying that already crowded suburban stores are an inappropriate place to house hundreds of cows. The animal welfare group also questions whether suburban families will have the space or knowledge to care for a dairy cow. “We’re talking about buying a cow not a goldfish,” the organisation said in a statement.
A supermarket spokesperson said they’ll be specifically selling cows that are “small enough to fit in a laundry or wardrobe space.” The supermarkets are expected to start a trial of their $2 cows at select stores from next Monday.