The final Senate Inquiry report has cleared all controversy related to the Coles milk wars, which began when the supermarket decided to slash prices down to $1 a litre.

The Senate has found that the lowering of milk prices does not harm in the diary industry and the real winners are the consumers.

Coles managing director Ian McLeod said lowering grocery prices as helped Australians combat rising living costs without hurting Australian farmers

“Coles has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in funding lower prices for our customers and in many cases paid food processors and farmers more to secure long term contracts for quality Australian product,” he said.

“Coles is committed to building long term sustainable relationships with Australian farmers and under our ‘Australia First’ Policy, Coles’ sources 100 per cent of our fresh milk, meat and bread and 96% of our fresh fruit and vegetables from Australian farmers. We only import when the product is not grown or produced in Australia.”

The final report follows statements by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission on 22 July 2011, and in subsequent appearances before the Senate, that Coles had not engaged in predatory pricing nor misleading advertising and that the January 2011 Coles brand milk price cuts were pro-competitive.

The final report ends more than two years of intense inquiry into supermarket milk pricing. Coles said it will wait for the government response to the report before providing any further comment.