Norco Milk holds prices for 2017/18

Norco milk announced to its suppliers that it will hold the same prices for the year 2017/18 as it did for the previous year 2016/17. This is a great outcome for Norco suppliers and the industry in Queensland in the context of prices for other dairy farmers throughout Australia.

There has been no change to the base milk rates for Queensland’s Northern Region with the cents-per-litre rate at an estimated total average of 57.22 versus the 2016/17 forecast of 57.14.

There is an increase in the Fat Component Penalty Rate from 0.465 cents-per-litre to 0.500 cents-per-litre for each 0.10% deviation in milk fat percent from 3.95%. There has also been an increase in Quality Penalty for Standard Plate Count (SPC) greater than or equal to 20 when the Bulk Milk Cell Count (BMCC) is greater than 300. There is no change to the Protein Component Penalty Rates.

Certainly, Norco’s commitment to hold prices for 2017/18 is good news for the entire Queensland industry and will certainly keep pressure on other processors to hold their farm gate price. 

Processors in the news

As reported in Dairy Australia's Dairyweb News - June 14

Victorian-based Nature One Dairy has signed a deal with Chinese pharmacy group Sinopharm to make infant formula, specialised milk powders and other health-related products for export. CEO Nick Dimopoulos, said Nature One would also co-develop new products for the Chinese market.

Last year, Nature One formed a joint venture with Au Lait Australia to develop a $35m powder plant alongside the Wellcamp international freight airport at Toowoomba.

Workplace Health & Safety Queensland Agriculture Safety Survey

Around 13 Queensland agriculture workers die each year as a result of a workplace incident and 1700 are injured – affecting one in every 25 agriculture workers.

In an effort to reduce these numbers, the Office of Industrial Relations has commissioned TNS to conduct research on their behalf to better understand the perceptions and behaviours around safety in the agriculture industry in Queensland.

We would encourage you to participate and complete this confidential short seven-minute survey to have your say about this important topic.

To begin the survey, use the link below and submit your responses in the next two weeks.

Are my answers confidential and secure?

Yes.  The survey is being carried out in compliance with the Australian Privacy Principles.  Kantar Public is an international market research company and is a member of the Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO) and Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS). 

Kantar Public abides to the professional standards including AMSRS Code of Professional Behaviour. For more information about the organisation, please visit

Please visit Workplace Health and Safety Queensland’s privacy statement for information on their privacy policy.

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Campaign highlights natural goodness in milk

Article first published in Lion Dairy & Drinks June News

Lion Dairy & Drinks has today launched an exciting new campaign; Milk Loves You Back on World Milk Day. The campaign celebrates the natural goodness of our milk, reminding Australians of the nutritional value in our products. 

Alarmingly, we know from the Australian Health Survey that nine out of 10 people aren’t consuming the recommended serves of dairy, with one in five aware that they should be consuming around three serves each day*.

Hawthorn legend and father of four, Shane Crawford backs the Milk Loves You Back campaign stating: "As an athlete, milk has been an important part of my diet, from back in the day when I chose milk at the pub which earned me more time on the field.

"Today, as a father I see it being even more important for my kids growing bones, muscles and minds. My twins love milk and often sneak out of bed in middle of the night to grab some…I always let them get away with it.”

The campaign will see an eye-catching Milk Loves You Back logo added to Dairy Farmers, Pura and Masters milks to grab the attention of shoppers, showcase the 8 nutrients that naturally appear in Lion’s white milks, provide nutritional information for each nutrient and, ultimately, reassure Australians nationwide that they are making a healthy and nutritious choice. 

“With so much conflicting information out there, it’s not surprising that people are confused about the benefits of milk and dairy. It’s so much more than just calcium – the natural nutrients in milks like Dairy Farmers, Pura and Masters carry the goodness of 8 essential nutrients that benefit your muscles, mind, eyes, energy and more,” says Shane. 

Later this year we will be adding the Milk Loves You Back logo and extended nutritional information panel to our range of iced coffees, flavoured milks, yoghurts and dairy desserts that also contain the 8 nutrients naturally found in milk. 

The Milk Loves You Back campaign is all about putting nutrition at the heart of what we do and forms part of our ongoing commitment to support the dairy industry across Australia. 

For more information on the campaign, please visit –

Source: ABS; 2016. Australian Health Survey: Consumption of Food Groups from the Australian Dietary Guidelines, 2011-12.

New South Australian dairy factory ready


As reported in Dairy Australia's June Dairyweb News

Australia’s newest milk powder factory, the $80m Union Dairy Company plant in Penola in SA, will start production in July.

Company MD Daniel Aarons said much of the first two years of WMP and SMP production had already been pre-sold. The JV between Warrnambool-based Midfield Group and agribusiness giant Louis Dreyfus Company plans to dry 30,000 tonnes/year, using milk sourced from the state’s south-east as well as south-west Victoria.

“We have worked very hard by way of running a series of workshops with farmers to ask what’s important as a milk model with payment,” Mr Aarons said.

“We will not step down on what we are calling our minimum guaranteed price. We are going to open at a very generous price and that will be a price set in concrete.”

Construction of the plant was 90% complete, with 40 staff recruited, he said.

QDO thank consumers for supporting farmers on World Milk Day

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) is encouraging everyone to raise a glass of milk to celebrate our milk and our farmers on World Milk day, 1 June 2017.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation has declared 1 June as World Milk Day since 2001, and we’re using the occasion to celebrate the Queensland farmers who work hard to produce delicious, nutritious milk.

QDO President Brian Tessmann thanked Queensland consumers for supporting our farmers by buying locally sourced branded milk all year round.

“Our dairy farmers work hard 7 days a week, 365 days a year to create fresh, great tasting and wholesome fresh milk that Queenslanders consumed every day.”

“Dairy farmers in Queensland have been to date been heartened by how the public has rallied around local milk producers by doing what they can do best, choosing with their wallets.”

“It is important that the community are aware that their choices at the checkout are making a difference to supporting the brands that support us.”

“We encourage everyone to keep buying branded to support farmers from every producer as this the best way to ensure our farmers get a fair price for their product.”

“Buying fresh branded milk is currently the best way a consumer can help deliver a fair price back to Queensland dairy farmers. The extra dollars you spend on branded milk is invested into the quality improvements of milk products.”

“On behalf of all Queensland dairy farmers, QDO says ‘thank you’ for buying branded milk and supporting our industry.”

“QDO will continue its campaign to break the $1/L milk price glass ceiling by working with the government and the major retailers to get a fairer deal for our farmers.”

Young Dairy Network (YDN) profile Owen Daley from Milla Milla

Owen and Brie with their baby boy Hugo

Owen and Brie with their baby boy Hugo

Owen grew up on his parent’s dairy farm (Colin and Shelley Daley) outside of Millaa Millaa on the Atherton Tablelands and attended the local primary school.  Owen worked on the farm on the weekends and school holidays.  Owen attended Malanda High School for grades 8 and 9 and then St Josephs Nudgee College in Brisbane for grades 10 to 12. After graduating, Owen returned to the family farm to work full time.
Owen is involved with all aspects of the dairy business, milking most mornings and afternoons and is heavily involved in the artificial breeding program.  Owen and his partner Brie have recently started their own Holstein stud trading as 'Promenade Holsteins'.  Brie works in the business and is involved with milking (when required), book work and registering calves.   In 2015, a heifer that Owen bred was crowned Junior Champion at the Malanda Show, and this rates highly on his list of achievements. 

Looking forward, Owen and Brie would like to own their own farm one day and have a high quality, high producing herd of Holsteins.

YDN QUESTIONS - Our questions this month are answered by Owen Daley

Question 1: Your role in the Dairy industry? 
A dairy farmer at Millaa Millaa on the Atherton Tablelands

Question 2: The best part of being involved in the dairy industry? 

The chance to work outside with animals everyday is something that I love.  The chance to travel and work at shows around Australia, and make new friends and catch up with old ones is an important aspect.

Question 3: What three words best describe you? 

Compassionate, Determined and Proactive

Question 4: What’s your greatest achievement to date? 

The birth of our gorgeous son Hugo, 8 months ago

Question 5: Who would you rather be & why?

Mark Zuckerberg, Hugh Jackman, Albert Einstein or Jonathon Thurston? Jonathon Thurston because he is such an ambassador and role model.

This article was supplied to QDO by the Young Dairy Network (YDN) in partnership with Subtropical Dairy.
The entire YND e-news editions can be seen below. 

Dairying on the Budget


By Brian Tessmann, QDO President

Along with many other rural industries and small businesses the dairy industry cautiously welcomes the 2017 federal budget that was handed down by Treasurer Morrison.

Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation (QDO) acknowledges that the federal government needed to strike a balance between the necessities of rural industries alongside the important debt reduction agenda. Despite this delicate balancing act it was encouraging to see a number of worthwhile initiatives and projects get approval or extra funding.

QDO welcomes the 12 month extension of the short term asset write off equipment under $20,000 for business with under $10 million turnover, an increase from the previous $2 million turnover cap. Funding of major regional projects along with the Building Better Regions Fund and the extended eligibility for the Farm Business Concessional Loans Scheme is also welcomed by QDO.

The budget also included funding for a number of very worthwhile work programmes and initiatives ranging from getting serious about the inland rail project to putting some much needed funding into fire ant control. It was however disappointing that there was no new funding for better telecommunication services in the bush.

Also lacking were any plans to address the ongoing and burdensome energy costs currently strangling Australian farmers businesses. It is a shame this debate still revolves around political games about generation fuel sources when generation remains less than a quarter of costs incurred on electricity bills.

One way QDO is directly assisting members to reduce their electricity costs is through a recent partnership with ‘Make it Cheaper’. This partnership is providing our members with access to comparison across all types of electricity and gas accounts to help identify potential savings. This will be particularly useful wherethe market is offering regional competition for energy supply. This service could allow some members to make significant savings on their energy accounts. QDO is currently disseminating information and I encourage farmers to make the most of this membership benefit. For further information on how to save on your on farm electricity bill call the QDO office.

Queensland Country Life Dood Heroes Dairy Day: Wrap up & gallery

The recent Queensland Country Life (QCL) Food Heroes Dairy Day held at the Platell’s family dairy in Tabooba was a well-attended and a constructive opportunity for the local industry and to come together and discuss challenges and positives facing the dairying in Queensland.

QDO would like to thank the Platell family for opening up their property to so many visitors and being accommodating and gracious hosts. A special thanks goes to Jim Platell for providing a tour of their operation as well as answering the many questions about their operation.

The forum held after lunch opening up a robust discussion about the viability and adequacy of how the Queensland dairy industry has been able to sustain and look after its dairy farmers.

QDO Vice President Ross McInnes opened with a candid and honest take on the current status and challenges facing the industry. He presented some challenging numbers, in particular around his concerns with the increasing squeeze being placed on farmers due to the $1 litre milk price.

Lisa Harrison from Daughters of Dairy Farmers (DDF) presented on her experience of successfully and positively using social media to engage with the public on the plight facing the dairy sector. Dairy farmer John Cochrane also presented his take on the future of the Queensland dairy industry. Lion also presented on their Dairy Pride program.

There were many in the audience who raised legitimate concerns with what they perceived to be the shortcomings of the complex and fractured relationships between the farmers, the processors and the retailers.

QDO is committed to working with all members and all stakeholders to get a better a deal for our farmers. We acknowledge the challenges facing our industry, however we are determined to work with all who share our passion for dairying to ensure a viable future. It is our firm belief that our industry only has a future if farmers band together and work together on this this united and shared goal.