Major dairy farm collapses as industry continues to struggle

A large dairy farm in Victoria has been placed into receivership, as dairy farmers continue to struggle.

Hines Dairy Farm, near Warrnambool in Victoria, has been placed into receivership by the Commonwealth Bank.

The Australian Financial Review reports the farm has more than $5 million worth of dairy farming land and up to 500 cows.

PPB has been appointed as receivers and Geoff Ridgeway and Philip McGibbon of Jirsch Sutherland have been appointed as liquidators of the dairy farm.

A source told SmartCompany the receivers were conducting an urgent assessment of the farm.

While at this stage it is too early to say what is happening, the source said one of the options is a restructure of the business.

Ridgeway and McGibbon were not available to comment.

The receivership follows the collapse of the Alan Fisher Pastoral Company in February, which operates a significant dairy farm near Warrnambool.

The dairy industry has been under continued pressure from price wars between the supermarkets.

Earlier this year, senator Nick Xenophon called for another inquiry into the industry while Coles has brokered a deal to cut out the middle man in milk supply in a move it says will improve prices for dairy farmers.

In a report released earlier this year, Dairy Australia found milk price and higher feed and energy costs were the major concerns for dairy farmers this year.

“Southern export region farmers are facing an 8-10% price drop. Northern domestic producers also face negative price signals and some are now also coping with flood impacts,” the report found.

Although average wholesale prices for some key dairy product categories firmed slightly over the December quarter and total sales volumes were broadly stable, average per litre supermarket retail fresh milk prices were down.



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