Norco’s milk away from Fronterra
NORCO has bought back the sales and marketing of its milk products from New Zealand-based multi-national dairy company Fronterra.
CEO Brett Kelly said the company engaged Fronterra's marketing expertise in 2007 to grow the Norco brand.
"Fronterra bought the licensing rights to market and distribute Norco's milk products in 2007," he said.
"What the board was looking to do was to get a major distributor with all the contacts to grow our brand, and Fronterra is a multi-billion dollar co
operative."Mr Kelly said the Norco board believed the company's five-year relationship with Fronterra was successful.
"Fronterra actually improved and increased the business but in recent times the board have believed that the best opportunity for us was to have control of our own destiny in terms of being able to deal direct with retailers."
Mr Kelly said the decision by the Norco board to buy back the sales and marketing of its milk products, for an undisclosed sum, was due to a shift in consumer attitudes.
He said there was "a very strong desire" among consumers for dairy products to come direct from farmers, to supermarket shelves.
"When you look at Norco it is one of only a couple left now of true Australian cooperatives owned by Australian farmers, so we believed it would be better to deal with retailers direct," Mr Kelly said.
"At the same time Fronterra's strategies and what they are doing on a worldwide basis had changed slightly.
"So it was a matter of perfect timing for both companies."
Following the purchase, which was finalised in late November, Mr Kelly said the company would continue to do business with Fronterra in other capacities.
He said the company was looking forward to launching some new products soon.
"We are developing new prod
ucts all the time and there are some new products coming including Norco flavoured milk."