Media Release Norco announces 5 cent milk price increase


Norco applauds and continues to support the efforts of all those who are fighting to raise awareness of the dire situation being faced by dairy farmers due to the severe drought coupled with escalating input costs on farm.

Norco’s Chairman, Greg McNamara believes the media campaign and publicity surrounding a proposed ten ($0.10) cent per litre levy to be applied to the retail shelf price of milk is founded with the best intentions and Norco has pledged its support for the initiative. However Norco’s Board is of the view that its dairy farmer Members are no longer in a position to be able to wait for this approach to take shape and is concerned about the longevity of a levy.

“We are concerned that the proposed levy may be seen as a temporary measure rather than an embedded increase in the farm gate milk price to address the escalating costs of production and that once the drought breaks, the levy could simply fall away. Our overarching priority as Australia’s largest 100 per cent farmer owned dairy co-operative is to protect the long term interests of our Members and we must take immediate action now.

Based on a review of Norco’s year to date performance, I am very pleased to announce that we are increasing the base milk price by five ($0.05) cents per litre for the months of September and October 2018. This increase alone will inject approximately $1.8 million over the two month period into our Members’ businesses which we know will be of direct benefit to help address some, but not all, of the rapidly increasing costs of production that our Member farms have been confronted with.”

Norco’s ability to keep paying the increased milk price will be reviewed at the end of October, however Mr McNamara is hopeful that this good news story will resonate with the loyal consumer following Norco already has and as a result of their ongoing support the increased price can continue.

“We have an incredibly loyal consumer base who love Norco milk and what the Co-operative stands for. They know that our dairy farmer Members (as the owners of the Co-operative) directly benefit from the support they give us in purchasing our quality dairy products we produce. To make this price increase permanent, we need to spread our reach up and down the East Coast, convert more dairy customers to Norco and increase sales of Norco branded milk to help drive a sustained future at the farm gate.” 

Mr McNamara is very aware that while this price increase will provide some much needed relief for the Members, the Board must stay vigilant in ensuring that the business remains viable in order to provide a sustainable future on farm.

“I know that Norco has a very important role to play in the northern dairy industry. We have 200 Member farms from Kingaroy QLD to the Hunter Valley of NSW who rely on their Co-operative, not to mention the communities we operate in, our 850 employees and our loyal consumers. We have been in business as a Co-operative for 123 years and it’s our intention to develop a sustainable future for our Member farms as a result of being part of a strong viable Co-operative that can continue to provide Australians with a reliable supply of fresh milk,” Mr McNamara said.


For further information contact:

Greg McNamara                                            

Chairman / Interim Chief Executive Officer                                                 

(ph) 02 6627 8012                                         

(mob) 0429 986 547                                                  


About Norco

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) and currently has 317 active members on 201 supplying dairy farms across Northern New South Wales and South East Queensland. Total business revenue was $591 million last financial year. Operating business divisions Norco Foods and Norco 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 and pet foods in both NSW and Queensland.