The ODFA is the largest producer of certified organic milk in the country.
Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants was initially appointed as the voluntary administrator for the company, which is owned by 40 family dairy farms in Victoria and Tasmania.
ODFA was set up in 2002, and produces organic milk for sale in retailers across Australia under the Farmhouse Gold Organic and Pure Organic fresh milk brands.
It also produces salted and unsalted butter, and provides the milk for the FiveAM yogurt brand as well as for the Lemnos brand of Mediterranean-style cheeses. It also supplies butter and cream for the foodservice market, which was hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Worrells said the move by the ODFA follows a range of external pressures. In particular, ODFA recruited farmers and their milk supply into the co-op, as part of their vertical integration strategy.
This growth strategy had a strong focus on exports to China through key customer partnerships. The combination of a contracting Chinese market, delayed sales, and now the impact of COVID-19, saw the directors of ODFA take the prudent measure of appointing Worrells, to facilitate a structured and transparent approach, to work through the current business challenges.
Worrells said all relevant and known stakeholders have been notified of ODFA’s position, provided with all relevant information and had their questions responded to.
All available options are being considered for the continuation of ODFA’s operations and to minimize disruption and impact on stakeholders.