Local milk in trial

WOOLWORTHS has launched Farmers' Own milk in eight supermarkets across the Manning Valley as part of a trial that will see local dairy farmers supply milk directly to the retailer for the first time.

Farmers' Own milk is available now at Woolworths supermarkets in Taree, Tuncurry, Forster, Gloucester, Lakewood, Lake Cathie, Port Macquarie and Kempsey with the aim to range it across New South Wales in coming months.

The new milk is permeate free with a richer, fuller flavour and offers customers the choice of three varieties; full cream and reduced fat homogenised milk and full cream unhomogenised milk with the cream on top, just the way the farmers like it.

Ziggy Kwarcinski, general manager of Fresh Food at Woolworths, said "Farmers' Own is a great tasting, fresh milk with a richer, fuller flavour and we think our customers will love to drink it while supporting their local farmers.

"We are trialling a direct relationship with the Manning Valley Dairy Farmers to give farmers a better deal for their milk and customers a great new product range.

"Woolworths has a proud history of supporting local farmers. We recognise that there are a variety of significant issues affecting Australia's dairy industry and this trial could be a model that will enhance the long term sustainability of the dairy sector.

"We've worked closely with the farmers to develop a product that not only tastes great but gives them end-to-end transparency from shed to shelf, a longer term contract and a closer relationship with their customers. This trial will not be the silver bullet to fix all the problems but we think it could herald a new way of delivering better returns to farmers and a more efficient supply chain," said Mr Kwarcinski.

Manning Valley dairy farmer, Tim Bale, said "This trial is providing a much better deal for us. It's allowed us to secure longer term contracts which will give us the confidence to invest in our businesses for a better long term future. We hope Woolies customers in the Manning Valley area will support Farmers' Own; it's fresh, locally produced and tastes great," said Mr Bale. 

Woolworths has had direct relationships with meat and fresh produce farmers for more than 20 years and today most of these products are sourced directly from the producer. However, this will be the first time customers will be able to buy drinking milk, sourced directly from farmers by Woolworths.

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