AS DEBATE rages over the impact of $1/litre milk on the dairy industry, Port Curtis District farmers are moving forward on a service to cut out the big retailers.
Members of the Port Curtis Dairy committee have formed a new company called CQ United Dairy, with plans for a service to offer milk deliveries directly to homes and businesses from the farmers.
Biggenden dairy farmer Robbie Radel, who will be among the first wave of dairy farmers supplying the initiative, said it would be a return to the old service of milk delivery.
"We're not in the market to follow the $1 a litre prices, $2 a litre is not unrealistic when people will happily spend that for a 600ml bottle of water,” Mr Radel said.
"We're not taking it lightly; we've gone door-knocking in suburbs in Mackay, Rockhampton and Yeppoon and there's a roughly 85per cent take-up rate of people interested.”
The main suppliers are the Mackay and Whitsunday-based Woodland family and Eungelladale Milk, whose milk is already available in
a number of local businesses.
The plan is for the system to operate similar to an online distribution service, where people can opt-in to receive milk deliveries provided they live in a viable area.
Participating dairy farmers can become shareholders in the project, and dividends will go back to the farmers.
The service will cover
the Port Curtis Dairy
region from Biggenden to Mackay.
Mr Radel hopes more farmers will get on board the project once they go off contract at the end of this year.
"They will be able to leave that contract with suppliers, or lock in for another two years with Parmalat,” he said.
The new milk brand, CQ Fresh, will be available in lite, full cream and cream on top in one, two and three litres. As the milk will be delivered direct from the farm, it will also contain no water or powdered milk additives.
The website to register for delivery is being finalised and is expected to be up and running within the next two weeks.
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