Australia’s newest cooperative open for business

By Jim Cornall

- Last updated on GMT

Teresa Hicks and Darren Sagrera, Mountain Milk’s newest cooperative members.
Teresa Hicks and Darren Sagrera, Mountain Milk’s newest cooperative members.

Related tags Dairy australia

Mountain Milk Co-op, Australia’s newest dairy cooperative, started trading Sunday July 1, offering a new start for a group of committed dairy farmers in the Kiewa Valley of north-east Victoria.

The event also heralds the recruitment of a fifth dairy adding to Mountain Milk’s anticipated initial milk pool of 21m liters.

Dederang’s Klein Meer Jerseys, comprising Jack and Christine Hicks, their daughter Teresa and her partner Darren Sagrera, joined the new co-op which was formed through the Australian Government’s Farming Together program.

Stuart Crosthwaite, chairperson of the co-operative, said, “We are grateful for the broad support from our community and the Farming Together program in helping to get us to this stage.

“Look out for the signs on our gates next time you are driving up the Kiewa Valley. We want consumers to recognize the farms which are supplying Mountain Milk and for people to take pride in knowing where their milk comes from.”

Farmers want more control

He said the cooperative’s milk will find its way to consumers through relationships with the Freedom Foods Group and Gundowring Fine Foods through its Gundowring ice-cream.

“As farmers we want to have more control of our future, and to be able to have more say in creating our own destiny,”​ Crosthwaite said.

“We want to explore all options to strengthen the future of dairy which makes such a great contribution to our communities in the Alpine Valleys.

“We see building relationships with high-quality farmers and high-quality processing partners as crucial to our future, as well as keeping all our options open for further growth and development.”


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