WAFarmers' milk sales pass 500,000L

29 Jul, 2015 09:12 AM
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WAFarmers president Dale Park (left), chief executive officer Stephen Brown and Dairy Council president Phil Depiazzi celebrate WAFarmers First brand milk passing the 500,000 litre sales milestone.
"Sales have gone very well, particularly in Coles stores in the South West
WAFarmers president Dale Park (left), chief executive officer Stephen Brown and Dairy Council president Phil Depiazzi celebrate WAFarmers First brand milk passing the 500,000 litre sales milestone.

SALES of WAFarmers' own brand milk have raised more than $100,000 to be ploughed back into helping local farmers, with $25,000 of that quarantined to help dairy farmers.

WAFarmers First brand full-cream and reduced-fat milk sales have passed the 500,000 litres milestone after being launched on November 19 at the inaugural Heart of WA dinner showcasing WA fresh food.

Using only South West WA milk that is processed under a licensing agreement with Harvey Fresh – part of the Australian dairy division of multinational Parmalat –- it is sold through the Coles' chain of 83 stores and online.

With a retail price of $2.99 for two-litres, the milk sales returned 20 cents a litre for WA agriculture generally and 5c of that was specifically for dairying, WAFarmers chief executive Stephen Brown said.

"A percentage of the royalties payment is quarantined for the WAFarmers' dairy section to fund projects or develop ideas to benefit the State's 160 dairy farmers," Mr Brown said.

"Sales have gone very well, particularly in Coles stores in the South West at Busselton, Margaret River and Bunbury, at Narrogin and some city stores.

"Coles has been very keen to make this work and WAFarmers First milk is about to undergo a brand awareness campaign.

"There's strong anecdotal evidence - you could never put a figure on it - that people who support us by going into Coles to buy WAFarmers First milk also buy a range of other items."

Mr Brown said sales were running at "roughly 50-50" between reduced-fat and full-cream milk.

No projects had so far been funded by the royalty, but some were "in the pipeline", he said.

The WAFarmers constitution prohibits funds being used to benefit an individual farmer so projects had to be offered across the dairy industry, he said.

WAFarmers president Dale Park said milk was only the first of many potential farm products where WAFarmers may enter the retail market in an effort to obtain greater value for farmers.

WAFarmers Dairy Council president Phil Depiazzi announced at Tuesday's WAFarmers Dairy Conference at Busselton that an independent committee had been appointed to consider dairy projects the funds could enable.

Three former Department of Agriculture and Food officers still associated with the dairy industry will make up the committee: John Giumelli, John Lucey and Dean Maughan.

FarmWeekly
Mal Gill

Mal Gill

is wool and dairy writer for Farm Weekly

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