ACM takes share of milk supply

PARTNERS IN DAIRYING: ACM supplier Russ White of Leongatha South and field officer Robyn Mitchard are pleased with their business arrangement.

LONG gone are the days when Murray Goulburn and Fonterra were the main milk companies in South Gippsland.

Now there are the likes of Saputo Dairy Australia, Burra Foods, ViPlus Dairy, Parmalat, Bega Foods, Lion Nathan and Australian Consolidated Milk (ACM), with the latter making major inroads into the region on the back of a high, stable price.

ACM takes Gippsland milk direct to its customers, such as Chobani and Jalna yoghurts, in Melbourne, while milk from its northern Victorian suppliers goes to its own factory at Girgarre.

ACM sources 550 million litres a year from across Victoria, with the average supplier producing between one and four million litres.

The White family of Leongatha South had been Fonterra suppliers for 40 years before switching to ACM in May 2018.

“They are Australian-owned, they’re a small company and the pay was good last year,” Russ White said, who farms with his wife Amy and parents Les and Dianne.

For nine months of the year, ACM pays $7.20 a kilogram but for September through to November, when there is an influx of milk due to spring pasture growth, the price drops to $6.60.

“It’s the guaranteed aspect that farmers like,” ACM’s Robyn Mitchard said.

“Anything extra that may come in, if it comes, is a bonus.”

That pay structure is different to other milk companies that typically start with an opening price that is boosted by step-ups throughout the season.

ACM said farmers appreciate the price certainty to help them budget.

“Most of our customers are on annual contracts whereas other companies tend to have their customers on quarterly contracts,” Ms Mitchard said.

ACM’s Peter Jones said the company had not benefited from the collapse of Murray Goulburn, which left many farmers wondering which company to supply.

“When it happened, we could have taken a lot of milk but commodity prices were not strong and if we had taken them on, we would have diluted the value of the milk that we had then,” he said.

ACM does not firm plans to expand further south into the Yarram district, instead preferring to source milk as close to customers as possible, but would not rule out picking up milk from the right farmer.

ACM has just launched its organic dairy products range in Coles nationally and soon this range will be in independent supermarkets such as IGA.


Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=30198

Posted by on Oct 18 2019. Filed under Featured, Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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