NSW Farmers welcomes direct deal with dairy co-ops

NSW Farmers is optimistic that a move by Coles to deal directly with farmer co-operatives will offer more sustainable returns and certainty to a number of NSW dairy farmers.

The deal brokered between Coles and the dairy co-operatives Murray Goulburn and Norco will see the processers enter into long term contracts to supply Coles brand fresh milk in NSW, Victoria and southern Queensland.

The announcement follows continuous calls from NSW Farmers and others for the major supermarkets to offer a sustainable pricing mechanism for its fresh milk products.

NSW Farmers CEO Matt Brand said today the move represents a critical first step and a broader commitment from Coles to invest in the dairy industry.

“It is a good sign that farmer cooperatives are back in the marketplace because this means farmer margins will be optimised and ultimately returned to the farmer as a shareholder,” he said.

Mr Brand said Coles has indicated that farmers will receive a greater share of the retail milk price, however information on the exact prices farmers will receive for their milk under these contracts is currently unknown.

“Coles is a consumer led business and we are pleased that consumers have stood alongside farmers in this debate and reinforced to the supermarket the importance of looking after our food producers,” he said.

“We acknowledge this move does not apply to all dairy farmers, however if this model is successful we are hopeful that it may be able to be expanded. 

“In earlier conversations with the supermarket, Coles has assured us that all fresh milk entering the Sydney market will be sourced from NSW dairy farmers.

“We look forward to meeting with Murray Goulburn on 15-16 May to discuss setting up production meetings across the state with our farmers.

“NSW Farmers welcomes Murray Goulburn’s commitment to local supply in our state and to grow the market in a planned and strategic manner to maximise the price for individual farmers.”

Contact: Veneta Chapple

Phone: 0429 990 218

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