SUPPORTING LOCAL: Bella Schmidt has seen an increase in Norco Milk purchases
SUPPORTING LOCAL: Bella Schmidt has seen an increase in Norco Milk purchases

Dairy industry milks ‘shop local’ movement

SUPPORT for Australian dairy producers is growing as more Warwick businesses opt to stock farmer-owned company Norco brand.

Pies on Wood owner Bella Schmidt said her sales of milk had increased fourfold since she started selling Norco 1L and 2L white milk as well as flavoured drinks.

“We actually have some Norco farmers in the district as well as the Warwick suppliers Kerry and Dave so it’s good to know the money stays in the area,” Ms Schmidt said.

“I can confidently say I have sold more milk with Norco which far exceeded my expectations.

“From the customers’ point of view, the feedback is it’s a nice tasting milk and from my personal point of view it makes a very nice coffee.”

As the co-operative celebrates 125 years, Norco suppliers Kerry and David Crowe said they were gaining new customers.

Despite a downturn in overall sales due to the pandemic shutdown, Mrs Crowe said the number of outlets wanting to sell Norco milk was actually increasing.

Pies on Wood and the Allora Butchery have joined a growing list of local businesses offering the Australian milk, along with the likes of The Weeping Mulberry and Belle Vue cafes

“We’ve had quite a lot of support for Norco anyway but we’ve had an increase in sales because everyone wants to get behind Australian farmers at the moment,” said Mrs Crowe, owner of Dacker Pty Ltd.

“People are more conscientious and there’s been a big social media push from a consumer perspective that they want to know they are supporting local businesses.”

Meanwhile, dairy processors had until yesterday to comply with the Dairy Code of Conduct, including to publish contracts on their websites.

Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud has urged dairy farmers and milk processors to know their rights and obligations.

“The code introduced clear laws about how farmers and processors are to conduct their business relationship, to help rebalance bargaining power and improve transparency in transactions,” Minister Littleproud said.

He called on dairy processors to support farmers by offering a fair milk price and new contracts that meet the requirements of the code.

“I encourage farmers to take note of the agreements once they are published, and compare the agreements offered by different processors,” he said.



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