NORCO SPIKE: Harrison Powick and Amy Van den Akker enjoy some local Norco milk after school.
NORCO SPIKE: Harrison Powick and Amy Van den Akker enjoy some local Norco milk after school. Scott Powick

Silver lining in milk crisis for local dairy farmers

NORCO is enjoying a sales spike as Northern Rivers consumers show their support for beleaguered dairy farmers interstate.

Norco chief executive officer Brett Kelly has revealed sales of Norco branded milk had increased by 20% and showed “no sign of slowing down yet”.

It comes after widespread publicity and anger over the “gouging” of dairy farmers who supply milk to processors Murray Goulburn and Fonterra, which recently slashed payments amid the global milk price crisis.

The dairy giants have dropped the price of milk solids to below the cost of production for many farmers, leaving some out of pocket by more than $3500 a month.

TV personality Waleed Aly was among those issuing a call to arms to boycott Coles and Woolworths’ $1 milk.

“Replenishment and distribution to balance extra orders for Norco- branded milk has increased by approximately 20% on normal, so quite a large spike,” Mr Kelly said.

Second-generation Dunbible dairy farmer Daryl Kennedy, who has supplied milk from his 200 cows to Norco for 35 years, said it was a positive development.

“It’s going to benefit us in the long run if they keep it up,” Mr Kennedy said.

“We’ve had it tough for a very long time,” he said.

But Mr Kennedy said suppliers to the 120-year-old Northern Rivers dairy co-operative were much better off than their counterparts elsewhere.

Norco suppliers receive 60 cents a litre. Murray Goulburn and Fonterra have cut the price they pay suppliers to about 36 cents a litre.

“We’re all getting pretty well looked after,” Mr Kennedy said.

“They can’t afford to keep going, the poor buggers.”

Norco is introducing labels emphasising the product is 100% Australian Farmer Owned.

“It was already planned, we have just brought it forward and it has been well received by our customers,” Mr Kelly said.



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