01 July 2014
Norco has commenced it’s milk supply deal with Coles, with the first shipments of branded milk leaving the Norco milk factory at Labrador to be distributed to consumers in south east Queensland and northern New South Wales.
The deal begins after the Northern NSW dairy co-operative announced that its’ farmers would be the best paid for their milk in the country last month
At the same time, Norco also announced its groundbreaking export deal with China for fresh milk.
The Coles deal, announced in April 2013, will see up to 65 million litres of milk processed annually at the Norco Milk factory in Labradore.
“Our management team has been working very closely with Coles over the last 15 months to ensure there would be a smooth transition from the previous manufacturer to Norco. I am pleased to advise that our team has been ready for this day for several weeks. Early on in the process, our Board of Directors approved capital expenditure of $6.4 million so that management could carry out the factory refurbishment works and purchase the capital equipment required such as a high speed rotary filler, additional silos and a new pasteurisingline. It has been a big project but we have maintained a clear focus all the way through that has led to this day” said Chief Executive Officer Brett Kelly.
Coles Managing Director John Durkan said Norco would supply the equivalent of 500,000 bottles of milk each week for Coles Brand milk under the new agreement.
“We are delighted to sign a five-year contract with Norco and give their members in northern NSW and Queensland a long-term home for their milk on the domestic market,” he said.
“To sign a contract of this scale and length with an Australian farmers’ co-operative is a great outcome for farmers and customers.”
Norco’s General Manager of Operations, Ian Foote added:
“The Coles contract has been a major boost for the Labrador Milk factory and the local economy. The winning of this contract has allowed us to employ an additional 22 full time staff at the factory and in addition many local businesses have been contracted to carry out the site works.”
Norco Co-operative Limited is an Australian, farmer owned dairy co-operative that has been in business since 1895. Norco is based in Lismore (NSW) with 303 active members on 177 supplying dairy farms across Northern New South Wales and South East Queensland. Total business revenue was $370 million last financial year and projected to be approximately $420m for 2014/15. With the business units of Norco Foods and Rural Retail / Agribusiness, Norco is a quality manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of a range of dairy products including milk, cheese and ice cream; a retailer of a diverse range of agricultural products across NSW and Queensland; and a manufacturer of stockfeeds in both NSW and Queensland.
Norco were recently awarded the Excellence in Innovation Award at the Northern Rivers Business Awards 2014.