CSU student takes on supermarket giant in milk wars


Friday 1 Mar 2013
In a 'David versus Goliath' battle, Charles Sturt University (CSU) veterinary science student Cassandra MacDonald has taken on one of Australia's supermarket giants over the impact of cheap milk and its effect on farmers.
 
The Wagga Wagga-based student has posted a YouTube video called ‘The Truth about the supermarket milk price war’.
 
This is in response to a recent video produced by Coles explaining the company’s $1 a litre milk policy. See “Our Coles Brand Milk Story – Coles”
 
The fifth year veterinary science student  said she made the video because she was angry over the Coles video and what she believed was its misrepresentation of the impacts for farmers.
 
“I hope consumers will stop and think about what exactly is happening. I hope they think about the choices they make, and how it affects others. Ultimately it would be great to see more people boycotting generic brand milks and buying branded milk products,” Ms MacDonald said.
 
“I also want consumers to think about the information they are being fed, especially by such big powerful companies - not to just believe everything they are fed!”
 
In the video Ms MacDonald outlines why she believes the supermarket giant is exploiting Australian dairy farmers and she pleads with Coles “to stop denying that you have no impact on farmer margins”.
 
Ms MacDonald explains in the five-minute video the processes involved in the supply chain from the farm gate to the consumer.
 
The video ends with the phrase, “Coles doesn’t give a buck” about diary farmers.
 
The release of Ms MacDonald’s video comes on top of her winning the 2013 Sydney Royal Dairy Produce Scholarship. This is a joint initiative of the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation (RASF) and the Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce Show. As the recipient of the scholarship, Ms MacDonald has received $5000 towards her full-time tertiary studies as well as the opportunity to steward at the Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce Show and attend the National Cheese and Dairy Judges Accreditation Course to be held in 2013.
 
Raised in Wollongong, Ms MacDonald attended Hurlstone Agricultural High School in Sydney’s south west before undertaking a Bachelor of Veterinary Biology/Veterinary Science degree at CSU.
 
“Once I finish my studies at Charles Sturt University, it is my goal to pursue a career as a mixed practice veterinarian in rural NSW. I am extremely interested in the numerous issues associated with keeping our dairy cattle healthy, allowing them to lead long, comfortable, productive lives and producing products that are of the highest quality from cattle that are well looked after,” Ms MacDonald said.

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Media contact: Fiona Halloran , 02 69332207

Media Note:
CSU student Cassandra MacDonald is available for interview. Contact CSU Media.