Co-op price increase to support members

Norco CEO Michael Hampson. Photo by Elise Derwin

Norco Co-operative will increase the milk price for May and June 2022, which it says will see a $1.6 million injection go towards supporting its farmer base following repeated flooding in northern NSW and southern Queensland.

Norco’s 281 active members will receive an additional 5¢/litre paid as a Co-operative Premium to take the average price to 84¢/litre.

Norco chief executive Michael Hampson said it had been an especially difficult time for their farmer members who had faced unprecedented challenges as a result of the recent natural disasters.

“We are constantly looking at ways to increase the milk price for our members and industry at large and given the devastating impact of recent weather events on the Norco supply base, there has never been a more important time to deliver this support to farmers,” he said.

“Following the floods, many of our farmer members have repair costs in the tens of millions. This follows periods of rising operating costs and decreased production due to the significant and prolonged weather conditions which has placed added cash flow pressures on our members.

“As a business, we know first-hand the challenges faced following natural disasters, so remain wholly committed to doing everything we can to support our farmers during this period and beyond.”

Mr Hampson said that during the past three seasons, Norco had demonstrated its commitment to increasing farm gate prices over and above the June / July opening price, with closing prices consistently above initial opening offers.

Mr Hampson said future price increases would be critical in helping to ensure the viability of dairy farming for its members, which was why they remained committed to passing on future price improvements where possible.

The co-operative is exploring further milk price increases for the 2022/23 financial year which will be announced on or before June 1 2022.

Mr Hampson said while the co-op’s primary focus was to provide support to their farmer members, it remained equally committed to helping safeguard the future of the Australian diary industry.

“We need to invest in building a sustainable future for our dairy farmers and to do that, our farmers need to make a profit. If they can’t, it reflects an undervaluation of their product which then points to the supply chain needing to change this value equation.

“Norco certainly understands this and is working hard to deliver improved value, not only for our members but the wider industry.”

He said consumer support would also play an important role in helping farmers recover.

“Consumers may see a slight price increase when buying Norco, but they can be assured that every single cent goes back to helping our farmers rebuild.”