WHO DO WE SUPPORT: LOCAL FARMERS VS. LARGE CORPORATE COMPANIES

Milk is considered the most commonly purchased item in supermarkets’ dairy section. Our taste influences our purchasing behaviour. And our behaviour is guided by our beliefs in doing what is right. Australians have showed strong support towards local dairy farmers by boycotting cheap supermarket branded milk as a result of the ongoing milk crisis.

THE PURCHASE PROCESS

The Purchase Process involves three phases that customers go through in making a purchase. According to Iacobucci (2014), the prepurchase phase identifies a need or want of the customer to be satisfied, it also involves consumers search for alternative solutions and building consideration by comparing services and products offered by the many suppliers. The second stage is in relation to the purchasing process where consumers limited their consideration for a product to only acceptable goods. The final stage is connected to the customer’s evaluation postpurchase whereby consumers assess their purchases and find out if they are satisfied with the products and services offered by the businesses. The postpurchase stage also reflects the possibility of consumers to likely repeat buying the same brand if they’re satisfied with their purchases of which would generate word of mouth. The postpurchase evaluation can be positive or negative depending on the customer’s level of satisfaction with the products they buy.

Australian consumers have identified their needs for dairy products specifically on milk and haven’t taken much time to search for different brands and look no further for consideration but to support local dairy farmers. They have a high level of satisfaction due to concerns of the effects Murray Goulburn and Fonterra had impacted on some 6000 struggling farmers and their small businesses.Consumers are now putting money behind a campaign to support the Australian dairy industry by discouraging consumers from buying cheap supermarket branded milk.  The consumers reactions has not only increase the likelihood of repeat purchase for local produced milk, but have also generated negative word of mouth and messages on homebrand cheap milk that are promoted by Woolworths and Coles.

SUPPORT LOCAL GROWERS

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Business Insider: People are sharing photos of empty milk shelves to show their support for local dairy farmers

(Source: Chang, 2016)

Consumers have showed loyalty towards local farmers by purchasing more expensive milk than buying cheaper $1 per litre milk that are widely available at retail outlets. This followed an announcement made by Murray-Goulburn to reflect a 10% cut on milk prices for suppliers, which had also stimulated interests in Fonterra to follow suit. The move by these big corporate companies made headlines in newsapapers and attracted crticisms from the majority if not all dairy consumers from every corner. The stories of farmers have been posted online and went viral on social media that attracted more support given to local dairy farmers as most of them were forced to shut down their dairy businesses as the crisis worsened.

WHAT INFLUENCES OUR PURCHASE DECISION?

Consumers have heard disheartening news and strong information relating to the Dairy Industry which had turned their full support to purchase expensive milk and dairy products produced by small farmers. The perceptions of consumers towards cheaper milk  and the companies supporting this move have changed due to strong criticism brought forward by the media and social bloggers. The attitudes of consumers contribute greatly to decision making and brand choice. Therefore, local customers’ decision making was based entirely on what they believe is good for the local farmers, the communities and the country as a whole.

WHAT LESSONS CAN BE TAKEN OUT OF THIS CASE?

Is price a main factor for consumers to consider for this major crisis within the dairy industry or should every consumer play a role in support of locally produced milk? As a matter of interest, how long will the consumers’ support local dairy farmers? In other words if you have a few dollars left in your pocket to buy three grocery items, will you continue to buy the expensive milk or will you change preferences then? Marketing guru’s will find possible ways to satisfy customers needs and wants while at the same time changing people’s perceptions of milk products available in supermarket shelves. The reality is, most consumers will be driven by the price factor and of course the quality of products. At the end of the day we are responsible for our own actions and if we choose to support ethical businesses then this campaign for small local dairy farmers will benefit from our assistance. However, if we choose the cheaper dairy products, then we are not helping small growers and in the end we are contributing to the growth of large corporate companies.

Author: Alberta Malielegaoi – 215419386


References:

Chang, O., 2016, People are sharing photos of empty milk shelves to show their support for local dairy farmers. [Online] Available from: http://www.businessinsider.com.au/people-are-sharing-images-of-empty-milk-shelves-to-show-their-support-for-local-dairy-farmers-2016-5 [Accessed 2nd August].

Iacobucci, D., 2014, Marketing Management (MM4): Student Edition, South-Western: Cengage Learning, Mason.

McGuire, M., 2016, Consumers getting behind campaign to support South Australian dairy farmers. [Online] Available from: http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/consumers-getting-behind-campaign-to-support-south-australian-dairy-farmers/news-story/8811ccc554b5bf963c0920cd56791933 [Accessed 1st August].

Scott, K., 2016, Paying more for milk could save struggling dairy industry: farmer says. [Online] Available from: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-17/how-consumers-can-help-farmers-during-the-milk-price-crisis/7420644 [Accessed 2nd August].

 

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