Supermarkets to be stocked with Sunshine Coast milk

COAST dairy farmers are set for some good news, with one supermarket giant set to turn to local producers to bolster their shelves.

Woolworths has announced a new initiative, with Farmer's Own milk set to fill our fridges as the chain looks to increase connections with regional areas.

Sourced directly from the Sunshine Coast hinterland, Farmer's Own milk will roll out across 194 stores in south-east Queensland.

Woolworths' head of trade chilled, Paul Turner said the announcement showed a commitment from the iconic supermarket brand to source, stock and sell more local products.

"We've committed to finding more locally sourced produce and have appointed a Queensland local sourcing manager to work closely with suppliers to bring even more great local products to our customers," Mr Turner said.

"Our customers have embraced Farmer's Own in New South Wales, particularly in the Manning Valley, and we think Queenslanders will be just as excited about the Queensland version of Farmer's Own.

"Farmer's Own is produced right here on the Sunshine Coast and is a fantastic quality product."

The deal was expected to be welcome news for local dairy farmers, who have been long-suffering in the much-publicised milk wars between the two major players in the Australian supermarket duopoly.

With the milk to be provided as far north as Rockhampton, Mr Turner said there was an opportunity to expand the program into northern Queensland if, as suspected, the home-grown milk proved a hit.

"The Farmer's Own model is one where Woolworths deals directly with farmers for their milk, rather than through a processor.

"It's a similar model to the one we have used for meat and produce for many years.

"We recently signed a 10-year contract for Select milk for Queensland with Parmalat so we will continue to purchase milk from processors, but Farmer's Own is another great tasting milk for our customers," he said.

It's an exciting addition of local foods supplied by Coast producers, a process Mr Turner says is well underway.

"The Sunshine Coast region already supplies our customers with some of our fresh produce," he said.

Grab tomorrow's Daily to see how the local dairy trade reacts to the announcements, and a look at the flow-on effects.



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