Coles and milk prices
JOHN Gimuelli believes for many WA dairy farmers, the announcement between Coles and Harvey Fresh was too little too late.
The Giumelli family has been dairy farmers in Dardanup for more than 100 years, with John having been involved for 30 of them.
He said he had made the decision to leave the industry, which was a shame but ultimately it was low milk prices that had forced him out.
"The question has always been not if it would happen, but when," he said.
"The Harvey Fresh increase that has come through negotiations with Coles, won't see Coles increase the price of milk in its supermarkets.
"It will simply mean they lower their margins.
"The unfortunate thing with the WA dairy industry is, Coles cuts their price, so the processors then have to cut their price, and farmers are forced to take the crumbs off the table."
Mr Giumelli pointed to re-regulation of the WA dairy industry as the answer to fixing low farmgate prices.
He said under dairy regulation and the milk quota system there was a legislated price for the seller, processor and farmer.
"The price was based on the cost of production and adjusted yearly," he said.
"It stood the test of time."
Mr Giumelli likened production in the dairy industry to that of a hamster on a running wheel, milk has to flow so farmers have to keep the wheel turning.
"Farmers don't have the luxury of going around knocking on doors looking for a better milk price," he said.
"You have to keep things moving and that's why a regulated industry worked so well."