Norco cream and Woolworths strike a deal for cream to rise to the top

Expect to see more Norco cream products on Woolworths supermarket shelves in a strategic move that will boost Norco’s 281 farmer members

Dairy farmer Andrew Mullins and son Ned run a busy dairy farm in Allora Queensland and will contribute to the additional 5,000 litres a week of cream products for Woolworths stores to shore up income for dairy farmers impacted by flood

Norco Co-operative, Australia’s largest and oldest dairy co-operative has announced a new deal with Woolworths, starting now.

The deal expands Norco’s range of the Co-op’s favourite tasting cream products throughout 167 stores in Queensland and New South Wales (north of Newcastle).

The partnership reflects efforts by the supermarket to support the 127-year-old business and its 281 farmer members, as they work to rebuild and recover following the devastating flood event that ravaged Northern NSW and the Norco Lismore ice cream facility.

Norco General Manager Commercial & Strategy Ben Menzies says that the business is working tirelessly to support its farmer members through this exceptionally difficult period of production and acknowledges how quick Woolworths were to also lend its support.

“With the loss of the ice-cream factory, we had to re-evaluate how to best utilise our fresh cream that would have otherwise made our great tasting ice cream.

“This expanded ranging is just one of the ways we’re helping to safeguard a prosperous future for our hard-working dairy farmers who have been doing it especially tough in recent times, and we’re grateful for Woolworths’ support which has enabled us to make this business pivot,” Ben added.

Offering an additional 5,000 litres per week of cream to Australian consumers, the arrangement will see expanded ranging of three Norco cream products all of which picked up Silver medals at the recent 2022 DIAA Australian Dairy Product Competition.

The expanded range includes its 300mL and 600mL Thickened Cream, and 250g Sour Cream in Woolworths stores – a strategic move by the dairy co-operative to maximise existing supply while its ice cream production remains halted due to the floods.

Woolworths Cream Category Manager, Justin Heffernan says supporting Norco and its farmers through their flood recovery was a priority and that this practical solution would see customers benefit too.

“We care for all Australians, and we’re invested in a prosperous future for Australian dairy.”  

“It’s a real win for our customers in northern NSW and Queensland who can now enjoy great tasting local Norco cream as we head into the winter season of hearty home cooking and indulgent desserts,” Justin concluded.

The announcement follows recent news that Norco would increase its farmgate milk price for its 281 active farmer members for May and June 2022, a move which will see a $1.6M injection go towards supporting its farmer base rebuild and recover from the flooding event.

In a bid to support farmers following rising costs of production and challenging operating conditions, members will receive an additional five cents per litre ($0.05) on all milk supplied, with additional price increases expected to be announced on or before 1 June 2022.

Norco Chief Executive Michael Hampson remains unapologetic in his Co-operative’s efforts to provide support to their farmers.

“Alongside creating the best tasting dairy products on the market, our number one priority is to help create a sustainable future for our dairy farmers, which is even more critical following recent events.

“Our farmers work exceptionally hard and at the end of the day, they need to know their product is valued, by the industry and by consumers. Norco certainly understands this and is why we’re working so hard to deliver improved value for our farmers,” CEO Michael Hampson added.

Michael Hampson adds that when shopping for dairy, he encourages consumers to choose Norco with the knowledge that every single cent goes back to helping their farmers recover and to safeguard the future of the Australian dairy industry.