Norco boosts milk payout

DAIRY co-operative Norco says it has helped ease the financial stress on Queensland and Northern NSW dairy farmers by paying for milk from its suppliers that could not be collected during the recent floods.

About 140,000 litres of milk – worth about $70,000 – could not be collected for processing, but Norco agreed to pay farmers anyway.

“On hearing the news that Norco would be unable to pick up milk from some of its suppliers due to flooding, Norco assured affected suppliers that milk not collected due to flooding would be paid for at usual farm-gate prices,” the company's milk supply manager, Jeff Collingwood, said.

“We made an early decision to pay for any flood milk.”

Mr Collingwood said Norco had put other measures in place to assist its flood-affected suppliers, including waiving of milk payment penalties for the month of January on farms in trouble with somatic cell counts.

Norco's rural retail stores would also allow affected milk suppliers to apply for extended credit facilities, with six months interest-free terms on their purchases.

In a further boost, all Norco farmers would be paid an extra one cent a litre for milk produced in the December quarter, thanks to the company's recent strong financial performance.

The Norco move will be welcomed by dairy farmers who now are worried about a milk price war at major supermarkets.

Dairy farmers have said the price cut would ultimately flow on to them at a time when they were struggling to respond financially to years of droughts and now floods.



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