The local farmers behind the labels.

Left to right: Torie Harrison, Kacey Walker, Tony Green, Lucas Kennedy and Kym Harrison.

Left to right: Torie Harrison, Kacey Walker, Tony Green, Lucas Kennedy and Kym Harrison.

Since deregulation in July, 2000, almost four in five of Queensland's dairy farms have exited the industry - the number has gone from 1,580 to just 324.

Five years ago Conondale dairy farmer Lucas Kennedy approached Woolworths to bring their Farmer's Own brand to Queensland and signed a direct deal with the supermarket.

"I actually approached them because they started in New South Wales, they were going there a good year before they came up here so I just kept ringing before they eventually came out, because I could see the whole concept of what they were doing," Mr Kennedy said.

"It was a very good relationship right from the start, they came to me and said 'What is a sustainable' milk price?' and I told them and they honoured that. "They've come in and said what do you need to still be here in ten years time and I guess I just felt that was the best way to go because where we were going we weren't going to survive and I wouldn't be here today."

The five Sunshine Coast farms are the only ones in Queensland to have a direct relationship with the supermarket.
Tony Green from Maleny is a fifth generation dairy farmer whose property has been in the family since 1906 when it was selected.

"It's good to keep it going and keep it in the family and hopefully we can do well out of dairying with this contract and keep going in the future."

Torie Harrison juggles working on her farm with working for the Queensland Dairy Farmer's Organisation.
"I'm so pleased that mum did get the contract to supply Farmer's Own because we were thinking about closing the dairy down so it has meant the difference for me staying and working in the dairy industry to possibly not working in the dairy industry at all."

Kacey Walker from Cambroon, juggles dairy farming with running a free range egg farm.
"We felt very fortunate to come on board with this group. They were selecting individual farmers, we were off contract at the time and were able to come on board."

Source: Jen Nichols - ABC Sunshine Coast