Norco Co-operative, Australia’s oldest and largest dairy co-operative has today announced its annual Christmas Day Bonus for its farmer members, who are set to receive an extra 15 cents ($0.15) per litre for milk that is supplied on Christmas Day.
While households right across Australia are celebrating the arrival of Santa on Christmas morning, Norco dairy farmers are expected to deliver around 660,000 litres of milk, ensuring consumers can continue to enjoy fresh and great tasting dairy right throughout the festive period.
The Christmas Bonus initiative recognises the fact that dairying doesn’t stop just because it’s Christmas Day, with Norco’s hardworking farmers operating 365 days of the year to deliver Australia’s best tasting dairy to consumers.
This news follows Norco’s farmgate milk price increase of an additional 1.1 cents per litre earlier this year, taking the average price to 88 cents per litre ($0.88) – reflecting the highest farmgate milk price (on average) Norco dairy farmers have ever received.
With these increases and bonuses combined, Norco is expected to pay its farmers an additional $25.6M more than last year, $5.6M of which is driven via high milk price, with $20M attributed to volume.
Supporting Aussie farmers
Norco CEO Michael Hampson comments that as Australia’s last operating dairy co-operative, Norco is deeply committed to supporting its farmer members, and this Christmas Day Bonus is just one way they can acknowledge the sheer hard work and dedication that goes into putting high-quality milk on supermarket shelves, year-round.
“We are proud to lead the industry on milk price, but this initiative is about more than that; it’s about showing our farmers how much we value what they do, especially during the Christmas period,” he says.
In March this year Norco – in partnership with the National Farmers’ Federation – launched the National Farmer Wellbeing Report which shone a devastating spotlight on the mental health of hardworking Aussie farmers.
It also revealed that more than three quarters (76%) of farmers across the country don’t feel the Australian public values what they do anymore, something that has likely contributed to their mental health struggles.
Michael Hampson adds that the report findings were incredibly sobering, but what really stood out to him was the fact that Aussie farmers no longer felt valued, something that he says absolutely has to change.
“Our farmers really are the backbone of this country, and Norco’s efforts are about ensuring they feel valued by getting get a fair days pay for a fair days work, particularly on Christmas Day. And the best way consumers can show their support for our hard-working farmers is by buying Aussie-owned products this Christmas if they can.
He is also reminding consumers that Norco is a 100% farmer-owned co-operative, which means that anytime they choose Norco, every cent goes back to supporting Aussie farmers, their families and the regional communities in which they operate.
“There really is no better Christmas gift you can give our farmers, than filling your fridges with Norco milk,” he says.
Farmers say thank you
Andrew Wilson, third generation dairy farmer from the Northern Rivers of NSW has been supplying Norco for 25 years and acknowledges just how meaningful this Christmas Bonus is, not just to his family but all Norco farmers.
“With my family, we manage a farm with 600 head of cattle, 300 of which are milked twice a day, including Christmas Day and that’s the norm for all of us dairy farmers.
“It really does mean a lot to us that our work in recognised in this way and the bonus certainly goes a long way to helping us all spread a little extra festive cheer, this Christmas.
“We’re also extremely grateful anytime someone chooses our products, so I do want to say thank you to everyone who stocks up on Norco this festive season – it truly is the best gift Santa can deliver,” he says.
The popular and great tasting range of Norco milk comes in one, two or three litres and is available in Queensland and New South Wales at Woolworths, Coles and selected independent supermarkets.