About Us



5 June 1895

The North Coast Fresh Food & Cold Storage Co-operative Company Ltd (NORCO) began operations at Byron Bay (NSW).

30 April 1896

Bacon curing operations began at Byron Bay and the first bacon was sent to Sydney on the 21 September 1896.

25 November 1897

The Company opened first depot at Murwillumbah and processed cream into butter.


Depot opened at Casino beside the Richmond River as sea going ships could navigate inland on the river way.


2 December 1902

The Norco Coast Fresh Food and Cold Storage Co-operative opened its first branch factory at Lismore.


The original company was voluntarily liquidated and sold to a new company called the North Coast Co-operative Limited.


North Coast Co-operative now producing one fifth of State's butter.

2 May 1906

Second branch factory opened at Murwillumbah.

Lismore factory now largest butter producer in the State.

14 May 1921

TSS Wollongbar | was wrecked at Byron Bay. Steam ships were used to transport butter to Sydney and were owned by the Northern Coast Steam Navigation Company.

19 July 1923

The Sydney selling Floor was opened at at 379 Sussex Street so the Co-operative could handle the sale of its own produce.


15 December 1925

North Coast Co-operative Company officially alter it's name to Norco Co-operative Limited.

4 May 1929

Clifford House was opened on the corner of Sussex and Bathurst Streets Sydney. It was named in honor of first full time Secretary, later General Manager, William Clifford who died while it was being constructed.


New factory opened in Murwillumbah and the old factory was leased to the Banana Growers Federation

Record output of butter 18,353 tons of butter manufactured.

At its peak Norco operated twenty factories - Byron Bay, Murwillumbah, Lismore, Kyogle, Tweed Heads, Tyalgum, Uki, Binna Burra, Ballina, Corndale, Bonalbo, Ettrick, Mt Lindesay, Alstonville, Coraki, Nimbin, Dunoon, The Channon, Cawongla and Wiangaree.


Opening of Lismore store.


Gristing Mill opened in Lismore


Production of milk powder begins.


14 July 1950

Commencement of ice cream manufacture at Lismore.

1 December 1950

Bottled milk production begins at Murwillumbah.


New premises opened in North Sydney.

Opening of Lismore Cheese factory.

1 December 1958

Takeover of Peters Milk/Foley Brothers. This reduced competition and provided a means of rationalisation in the industry. Cheese making was concentrated in Lismore.

27 August 1962

A new era begins, transfer of Head Office from Byron Bay to Lismore.

September 1962

Operations and deliveries of ice cream and frozen foods, such as vegetables, poultry and fish products, commence in Brisbane and Rocklea.

Norco ice cream marketed in Queensland.


Installation of continuous butter-making machine at Lismore maintained production of a high quality product.


Norco gained all top awards for canned ham at the Royal Agricultural Society Show in Sydney.

1 July 1969

First bulk milk collection in Murwillumbah and Lismore started in November of this year.

February 1970

First butter manufacturer to promote "spreadibility" in marketing. Called Jersey Gold it was made by a cream treatment process in the Lismore factory.

June 1970

Norco joined forces with Producers Distributing Co-operation Ltd. These amalgamations spread the company's area of influence from Gosford to the Queensland boarder and west to Moree which consolidated and improved confidence and rationalisation of the industry.


Casino Dairy Co-op. merges with Norco.

1975 - 1999


Dairy Farmers Action Group fights Base Milk Quality monopoly of milk marketing.

Norco wins Milk War - a new deal for North Coast dairy farmers and access to the whole of the states milk markets.

1 April 1981

Norco purchased the Central Dairy Co-operative Society Limited which included the Ralegh manufacturing factory and Rural Store.

Inverell Dairies Pty Ltd was also taken over by Norco on this day and the bulk milk produced in the Inverell district was then transported to Raleigh.


Norco acquired agricultural business of PDS which had interests in Southern Queensland, Northern New South Wales and Tablelands.


Norco sales exceed $100 million.


Joint venture in ice cream manufacture between Norco and the large American Company, Baskin Robbins commences.


The Logan and Albert Dairying Co-operative, situated at Beaudesert in Queensland, was purchased by Norco. The factory's brick building which was built in 1931 was then used for many years by the Beaudesert Rural Store.


Grafton - Ulmarra Co-operative Dairy Company Limited was purchased by Norco Co-op in this year.

The Ulmarra Butter factory was originally opened in 1892 and then was rebuilt in 1923 under the name of Pioneer Dairy Company Butter Factory. It later became known as the Grafton - Ulmarra Co-operative Dairy company Limited before being taken over by Norco Co-op.


Norco celebrates 100th Birthday - Centenary History book, Centenary Play, Parade at Lismore Showground attracts largest ever crowd. Golden Oldies dinners held in several places.


Norco sales exceed $200 million.

2000 - Present

30 June 2000

Norco Sells the Foodservice Distribution Business to PFD Foodservices.

Norco opens the Windmill Grove site in Lismore. The site houses the Lismore Rural store, Norco Mitre10 Handy store and several other speciality shops.

July 2000

Norco closes down Cheese Factory in Lismore.


Australian farm gate milk price deregulated.

Norco launches new Cape Byron icecream range.

2001 - 2002

$7.03 million dollar profit recorded.


Lismore Ice Cream Factory Site is updated to meet Industry QA Standards.

Norco launches Light Prestige Ice Cream. The first Australian Ice Cream to be included in the Glycemic Index Symbol Program.

Norco Rural Stores Group purchase BGF stores at Coffs Harbour, Macksville & BGF Carton Services at Woolgoolga.

Norco Rural Stores Group purchase Goldmix Stockfeed Pty. located in the Burnett Ranges of Queensland.


The Corporate Head Office moves from Foleys Road to 'Windmill Grove' 107 Wilson Street in South Lismore.

Norco completes 110 years in business by holding a public ceremony in honour of the relocation of the Obelisk of the late Andrew Carson Alcorn, the 'Father of the Creamery' which is now situated in a prominent location within the Riverside Park in Lismore. Next to this is an information panel that gives a snapshot of the history of Norco and is a testament to the dairying industry on the Far North Coast.


Norco purchases Parmalat's 50% share of the Norco Pauls Joint Venture which caused the agreement to then cease.

A new Rural Store at 24 Isles Drive in South Coffs Harbour was opened.


Norco forms a business relationship with Fonterra to sell and distribute milk products

Norco purchases $23m turnover Retail site at Toowoomba and the Meat-E-Vite business in Lennox Head.

A new Rural store opened at Bundaberg.


Old coal fired boiler system removed from Lismore Ice Cream factory and a gas fired hot water system installed to reduce pollution and increase efficiency.

Norco won the Queensland and New South Wales awards in the Bi-annual Asia Pacific Stock Feed Competition which was held by the Stock Feed Manufacturers Association as a national competition.


World wide economic downturn causes economic restrictions through all industries.


Norco Ice Cream Business Unit wins the Coles House Brand Supplier of the Year Award.

5 June 2010

Norco celebrates 115 years in business.

9 November 2012

Norco purchase the Sales, Marketing and Distribution back from Fonterra.

12 January 2013

Norco opens a Rural Store in Taree NSW.

1 October 2013

Norco opens a Rural Store in Gloucester NSW.

1 June 2014

Norco opens a Rural Store in Heatherbrae NSW.

1 July 2014

Norco opens a Rural Store in Murgon QLD.

1 November 2014

Norco opens a Rural Store in Wamuran QLD.

Discover Norco's rich history. Going strong since 1895