The northern New South Wales dairy co-operative exporting fresh milk to China will now pay its suppliers more.
The three cents a litre increase from July coincides with the start of Norco’s new contract with Coles.
Norco chief executive officer Brett Kelly is confident that the co-op’s farmers will now be the highest paid in the country.
And while the price is commercially sensitive, Mr Kelly has confirmed it is in excess of 55 cents a litre.
“We have put in roughly a cent in this financial year, and then when you add on the three for next year, that’s four cents. That equates to in dollars around $8 million of net profit,” he said.
“I have to say I’d like to see, even challenge, the other major dairy processors out there to do the same thing.
“They would understand the actual commercial outcomes of milk price and profit, they would know and understand their own milk price, so I think it’s much needed right across the board so farmers can reinvest.”
Mr Kelly also believes that developing new channels for their milk will lead to more increases.
“Our members and farmers have been doing it very very hard and this is not the end, this is the beginning,” he said.
“If we can continue to now develop, for example, the China export market, there’s the opportunity to keep growing the farmgate price, and we’ve got to do that because the cost of business is out of control.”
Norco is in the process of sending its second commercial shipment of fresh milk to China.
Mr Kelly says there are a number of potential customers.
“We’ve had enquiries ranging from tens of thousands of litres through to potential millions of litres, but we take a step at a time very very carefully so that we make sure we have the right retail presence in China,” he said.
Norco has more than 200 suppliers in NSW and Queensland producing more than 200 million litres of milk per year.