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Aug 152014

A local bakery owner is frustrated with the big supermarkets’ negative impact on the milk and bread industry, families and the wider community as well as these products being used as “loss leaders” to get people in the door. But he is taking a stand by making the decision to support a milk product that was almost pushed out of production by big business.

Today at their Belmont store, Uncle Bob’s Bakery got its first order of Scenic Rim 4Real milk.  It is for retail purchase as well as being trialled in their coffee.

Uncle Bob’s owner, Brett Noy, says it was a very easy decision.

“Our business philosophies are very similar, supporting small family local producers. I think that at a level in every community there are people that understand and want to support this style of business,” Mr Noy said.

“Australians don’t like bullies, and when they hear of a situation like has happened to Farmer Greggie they really rally and support such a cause.”

Farm gate fresh milk, minimally processed from pasture based cows at Scenic Rim.

Farm gate fresh milk, minimally processed from pasture based cows at Scenic Rim.

Last year 4Real Milk’s Greg Dennis was told that what he was being paid for his milk would be cut by around 25%.

Concerned that his business would no longer survive, Mr Dennis launched his own processing and bottling plant at a huge cost. He also bought a truck to distribute the milk to shops and cafes. Read Milk war hits premium end (The Australian Dairy Farmer, April 2013) and A dairy farmer’s last stand (ABC, March 2013)

Mr Noy says the milk product is also high quality at a fair price.

“We have a similar approach, it has never been about the money, it isn’t the focus other than what is needed to survive, it is about a feeling, that feeling you get from doing something well and then seeing someone enjoy the fruits of your labour.”

Minimally processed and will low food miles - only sold within a 2 hour drive from their farm.

Minimally processed and will low food miles – only sold within a 2 hour drive from their farm.

Mr Noy says that most people aren’t properly aware of what the big corporates are doing to farmers and the wider community.

“Cheap food whilst appearing to be a good thing financially will eventually decimate society. A big call I know, but you must understand what happens to quality and nutrition in the cycle and process of price reduction,” Mr Noy says.

“In order to supply at a cheaper price, quality must eventually be sacrificed, natural replaced with chemical, companies search for ways to increase production in order to reduce labour, and costs to meet the demand of big supermarkets.”

“We end up with an economy as artificial as that which is going into the food we eat,”

He says it’s a downward spiral of wages going up, companies automating, people losing jobs and then reduced incomes mean an increased need for cheaper food. And this also means that the health system becomes overloaded.

“But we end up not eating food. In many cases it is just food shaped objects, filled with starch, artificial flavours, colours, and a cocktail of chemicals to make it look like its going to taste good,” Mr Noy said.

Small producers like Greg Dennis, his own bakery and many others are trying to change this, he explains, by bringing back traditional products that are made using natural ingredients that deliver on taste at a fair price and that contain good nutrition.

“We must, though, be aware that as this impacts the bottom line of supermarkets they will fight back – beware of the marketing hype, stay true to yourself and support where possible small local producers,” Mr Noy urges.

Share your thoughts below and tell us what affects your milk purchasing decisions.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gen is the Founder of Carindale Connect (started in 2007). She has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Queensland University of Technology and an internship from ABC Online. She's involved in a number of web projects, was the Website Manager for Chamber of Commerce and Industry QLD and the Editor of Wotnews (Australian news aggregator and search engine start-up). She also spent some time as a volunteer Community Correspondent for 612 ABC Brisbane. Born in Hobart, Tasmania, Gen now lives in Carindale. She loves her bicycle (but doesn't do lycra), the environment and art.
Genevieve Robey

  4 Responses to “Local bakery supporting a stand against big supermarket chains”

  1. Well done Brett,
    Since you came to our Carindale & Eastern Suburbs Community Group and explained some of these issues, my family and I have been buying bread from your store and we love the quality and we love supporting small local businesses. I have seen how Coles and Woolworths are slowly controlling suppliers, consumers and increasing prices – it’s a disgrace ! Here is my challenge to every company executive – Show Some SOCIAL CONSCIENCE ! There needs to be a balance between maximising shareholder wealth and being a decent corporate and individual citizen ! What do other people think ?

  2. Our communities need to support small business so we get true competition. We need to stop living on convenience and put some thought into how our habits will affect out future generations and as Brett stated we need our nutrition to improve through better food choices. Otherwise what do we have to look forward to if we don’t have our health. Support our small businesses get better quality food impove your health keep money in the community. Win win

  3. Fantastic! What does it cost?

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