In Agriculture

Western Australia Minister for Agriculture & Food Terry Redman

Redman Welcomes Dairy Contracts

Victor P Taffa

Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman has welcomed support shown by Fonterra and Harvey Fresh for the Western Australian Dairy Industry in the wake of recent uncertainty.

Last Month, Challenge Dairy Co-operative (CDC) informed its suppliers that it would cease trading and that they should negotiate contracts with other processors.

Harvey Fresh moved quickly to take up extra milk and provide security to a number of Challenge suppliers. Fonterra has now advised it will offer contracts to all remaining dairy farmers that have yet to sign new contracts with Harvey Fresh or National Foods.

CDC’s decision to cease trading follows the collapse of Challenge Australian Dairy in October.

“Many Dairy Farmers have been faced with the prospect of not being able to find a home for their milk, so the actions of Fonterra and Harvey Fresh will come as welcome relief.” Mr. Redman said.

“I have appreciated the open and supportive relationship between my office and Fonterra throughout this crisis, and I am very grateful for the valuable role the company has played in helping WA dairy farmers endure these current challenges.” the Minister said.

“From the outset, the State Government proactively provided a range of support services for families and communities, farmers and employees. I am pleased by the support shown by these companies and my office will continue to talk with industry.”

The Department of Agriculture and Food is working closely with Dairy Australia and Western Dairy to deliver ‘Taking Stock’ sessions to Challenge Dairy Co-operative members now renegotiating new supply contracts with other dairy processors.

The Sessions, to be delivered by Specialist Local Consultants, will enable farmers to make more informed business decisions.

This Program will supplement the farm visits already being undertaken by the South West Development Commission, which gives impacted dairy farmers the chance to discuss their concerns in a non-threatening environment and get advice about what support is available.

There is also support available to employees of Challenge Australian Dairy through the State Government’s 24-hour free-call WA Worker Assist helpline (1800 200 680).

Impacted employees can also access information on support services from Centrelink on 13 28 50.

Dairy producers can contact the department on 1300 725 572 for further advice and information on available support services.

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