CluckAR for Milk?

Continuing the discussion from CHOICE free-range egg app wins iAward:

We’re looking into milk – here’s our latest Milk Buying Guide from Rachel Clemons. Unfortunately it’s complicated.

To support Australian dairy farmers, you can do the following:

  • Buy Australian dairy products, irrespective of brand.
  • Buy branded milk if your budget allows (but if not, buy private label milk rather than no milk at all). According to Dairy Australia spokesperson, “Branded milk puts more money into the supply chain. That gives the option for processors to pay marginally more to farmers.”
  • Support initiatives like Aussie Farmers Direct, which offers a premium to dairy farmers over the farm gate price for milk.
  • Buy directly from a local processor - or better still a farmer at your local farmers’ market - if you have the option.

So paying more doesn’t necessarily mean the farmer will get more. But if anyone has an idea about how CHOICE New Things can usefully augment milk labels, I’m all ears.


Buying from a farmer direct is a great option but only if the milk has been pasteurised, I think it is still illegal for a farmer to sell un-pasteurised milk and they can be subject to fines. See this article from March of 2016:

If you can find it on shelves Norco Milk is a great product from Norco which is still a Farmers Co-Op that funnels the profits back to it’s farmer and community base.

For an idea how about allowing the good companies to put Choice Recommended on the label (subject to the business keeping the high standards that got it the recognition).

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NewThings, in particular, is constantly examining non-traditional uses of Choice’s testing and recommendations. Recommendation marks on products are certainly one way of doing it - certainly plenty of other groups such as the Heart Foundation have done this. There’s many others as well. We do have a way for companies to push our already recommended item out from behind the paywall of the main website to get greater exposure.

When considering options like this sort of approval mark, we have to be very careful of our reputation of being unbiased. Many of these marks can be purchased from the appropriate group, so there’s a consumer mindset that somewhat distrusts those labels. If we did something similar, then there’s a reasonable possibility that consumers would lump us in with the other groups and the power of the Choice brand as being completely independent would be lost, probably never to be regained.

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