Dairy farmers in Northern New South Wales and Southern Queensland who sell milk to farmer-owned co-operative Norco will receive additional financial support to help them cope with the impact of drought thanks to increased payments from Coles.
Coles has been providing additional support to dairy farmers across Australia since March through a 10c per litre price rise on 2L and 3L Coles Brand milk.
Coles will pay farmer-owned dairy co-operative Norco a $2.8 million lump sum to be distributed to farmers and an additional 7c per litre for 2L and 3L Coles Brand milk produced by Norco until at least the end of the financial year.
The ACCC raised issues with Coles in relation to the interaction between the March price increase and Coles’ existing commercial arrangements with Norco. The ACCC did not raise issues in relation to any other processor.
Coles respects the regulatory process but disagreed with the ACCC’s interpretation of these issues. Instead, in order to avoid an unnecessary dispute and provide immediate much-needed support to Norco farmers dealing with the ongoing impact of drought and bushfires, Coles proposed the investment of an additional 7c per litre for 2L and 3L Coles Brand milk purchased from Norco between April 1 this year and at least the end of June 2020. This is on top of the 10c per litre on 2L and 3L Coles Brand milk that Coles has been paying since March.
Coles is pleased to be able to provide additional support to Australian dairy farmers while we continue to work with industry and government stakeholders to find long-term solutions to ensure the sustainability of the Australian dairy sector.