Norco has announced it will increase its farm gate price to help farmers during the drought.
Norco has announced it will increase its farm gate price to help farmers during the drought. Norco

Norco raises milk price to help drought-stricken farmers

AS THE drought continues to devastate the agricultural industry, one of the biggest rural businesses in the region is raising its prices in an effort to support the farmers who make their products possible.

On Tuesday morning, Norco's chief operating officer, Michael Hampson, confirmed rumours that the country's oldest dairy co-operative would raise the farm gate price of its milk.

While the details of the exact increase has yet to be revealed, in May this year Norco increased the farm gate price by 6.5 cents a litre for its suppliers for April, May, June, pushing the base price to just over 60 cents a litre.

It is understood that Norco's farm gate price is different for each farm, as the price on a cents per litre basis, amongst other items, is calculated from the levels of fat and protein that the cows produce, which differs by farm.

Mr Hampson said Norco understands how hard its members are working and the barriers to success its farmers are facing.

"Current on farm conditions are more challenging than they have been in living memory for many of our farmers," he said.

"And as a 100 per cent farmer-owned co-operative, Norco is reviewing how we can support our farmers through this period with a range of measures, which includes an increase to the farm gate milk price.

"To lift the farm gate price to our farmers, there will be a small increase to our valued customers and consumers, which will assist farmers paying for crippling feed costs due to this prolonged period of drought."

Mr Hampson said the quantum of the farm gate increase and the timing, these are still items that are under consideration of the board and management team.

Meanwhile, he said the co-operative and its members were grateful to their communities.

"Norco and its farmers truly appreciates the support of our many customers," he said.

"And we encourage our community to support the businesses that support Norco farmers by purchasing our premium quality local milk."