Dairy farmers secure deal with Woolworths

Cheers: Nick and Bernie Masterman, Auburn; Gary and Ros Zweck, Blyth,; Bruce and Karen Slope, Riverton, and Richard and Desiree Schulz, Eudunda.
Cheers: Nick and Bernie Masterman, Auburn; Gary and Ros Zweck, Blyth,; Bruce and Karen Slope, Riverton, and Richard and Desiree Schulz, Eudunda.

A handful of dairy farming families in the Mid North have helped secure their futures. 

They have secured a minimum price guarantee, with Woolworths, for their milk for the next three years.

In what was a rare deal for agriculture sector, the families have not only secured the deal but have joined a special brand – Farmers’ Own. 

And it’s creamier and full of rich flavour. It’s also local, fresh from dairy cows from Blyth to Riverton and Eudunda. 

The farmers are from the Barossa and Mid North Dairy Farmers Cooperative and it was about 18 months ago when they were approached by Woolworths to work on something new. 

A total of six families took up the opportunity and include the Zwecks from Blyth, Mastermans from Auburn, Schulzes from Eudunda, Slopes from Riverton, Nietschkes from Nuriootpa and Kochs from Moculta. 

Little did they know they would see their faces on cartons of their milk on the shelves at Woolworths just 18 months after the initial proposal.

Nick Masterman said it was the valley’s ‘best white’ but was excited that they were now sustainable. 

Ros Zweck, who has been involved with the Cows Create Careers project, said it would add another element to the program, opening the eyes of students to where the milk now ends up.

“It is our milk that comes out of the bottle, it is picked up in a different tanker, it is all local,” Mrs Zweck said. 

The milk, branded as Farmers’ Own, is available at Woolworths stores in SA and NT.

Mrs Zweck said a niece of hers who lives in Darwin had sent a photo of her with a carton of Farmers’ Own milk after its release. 

For some of the farmers it was still quite surreal. 

It was only in March this year that the group was sat around a table in Sydney discussing the finer details and now, they have a product on the shelf. 

Karen Slope, Riverton, said to stand in a paddock with their own milk brand was a huge reward.

It’s a positive step for the dairy industry and families.