Aussie Farmers Direct invests $5 million in new dairy processing company

Fast-growing Australian fresh food delivery franchise Aussie Farmers Direct says it is “fighting back” against foreign dairy companies by investing $5.45 million in the launch of a new dairy processing company Aussie Farmers Dairy.

The move is aimed at securing the supply of 100% Australian owned and produced milk, but the company says it will also give domestic dairy farmers a greater choice of buyers.

“In excess of 90% of the fresh milk consumed in Australia is supplied by foreign companies,” Aussie Farmers Direct chief Braedon Lord says.

“The main emphasis behind the project is to ensure our customers receive Australian owned, farmed and manufactured milk from now on.”

The company is creating a new dairy processing and bottling plant and will redevelop an old Bonlac factory in Camperdown, south-west Victoria. It will eventually produce 100,000 litres of Aussie Farmers Direct branded milk.

“Camperdown is in the heartland of the best dairy country in Australia. The same dairy country products 23% of Victoria’s dairy which is about 2.2 billion litres of milk per annum so it’s the best area for us to start,” says Lord.

The plant will initially mean 30 jobs in the Corangamite Shire and up to 100 over the next five years. The company also expects the shire’s gross regional product to increase by $36.6 million with five years.

Lord says Aussie Farmers Dairy will take out the intermediary between the dairy farmers and the distribution networks such as Aussie Farmers Direct and will allow them to build a stronger relationship with the farming community.

“It’s about securing supply but also about getting closer to the dairy farmer and developing that relationship with them as we grow our customer base across Australia,” Lord says. “It gives local famers incredible additional options and gives them a friendly and trustworthy company to deal with going forward.”

“At the heart of the company’s core values is connecting the farming community to Australian households and creating and fostering rewards and opportunities for everyone,” he says.

The milk will be distributed by the company’s network of franchised ‘milkmen’ starting with the Victorian network and will eventually be distributed throughout Australia,

To help fund it’s move, the company winner received a $700,000 grant under the Brumby Government’s Regional Investment Initiative ($350,000) and Community Regional Industry Skills Program ($350,000) through Regional Development Victoria.

Currently, the milk in Australia is predominantly supplied by Japanese-owned National Foods, New Zealand dairy company Fonterra, and Italy’s Parmalat.

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