Fonterra announces Victorian flood support package

Posted by Josette Dunn on 24th January 2011

Fonterra today announced details of a comprehensive support package to help flood-affected dairy farmers in northern Victoria, including a $50,000 donation to the Victorian Farmers Federation Disaster Relief Fund.”We have been carefully monitoring the flood situation in northern Victoria and staying in close contact with our farmer suppliers and manufacturing site personnel in affected regions,” said Heather Stacy, National Milk Services Manager.

The floods have caused some challenges and disruption to Fonterra’s milk collection and about 30 of their farmer suppliers in the region have been affected through the loss of feed and crops, and damage to laneways and infrastructure.

“Our tanker drivers are doing an exceptional job of collecting milk in these difficult conditions, and we are very pleased with the way they are supporting each other to keep safe while out on the road.

“We realise farmers are feeling pressure and need support at this time, especially because the flood damage comes on the back of severe drought conditions and the recent plague locusts. With that in mind, our primary focus is to help flood-affected farmers get back on their feet, which is why we have developed this support package,” Ms Stacy said.

Fonterra’s support package includes:

* Access to interest free loans to help cover the cost of purchasing feed
* Paying for milk even when they have been unable to get tankers in to collect it
* Providing a rebate to farmers who undertake herd testing
* Providing technical on-farm support to assist with milk quality and animal health issues
* Engaging with the industry to help farmers access support services

In addition to this package, Fonterra has also donated $50,000 to the Victorian Farmers Federation Disaster Relief Fund. This is being earmarked to specifically assist flood-affected dairy farmers in Victoria through the United Dairy Farmers of Victoria (UDV).

Fonterra is also supplying daily deliveries of yoghurt to the Red Cross relief centre in Echuca for people evacuated from the Echuca and Rochester townships.

“Our hearts go out to all those people and communities impacted during this very difficult time,” said Ms Stacy.

Queensland Flood Assistance

Fonterra has a limited milk production footprint in the flood affected areas of Queensland. However, they have a significant presence through their field sales team, supermarket customers, foodservice customers and franchisees who distribute milk.

Fonterra stated they are working with customers, industry partners and welfare agencies to do all they can to help get essential dairy supplies to people who need them.

In addition a donation of A$100,000 to the Premier’s Relief Fund and A$50,000 to the Queensland Dairy Organisation, the company is producing a special run of 150,000 litres of UHT milk which they are shipping to Foodbank in Brisbane, who will then distribute directly to those in need, as well as to other welfare agencies.

It has been great to see so many companies stepping up to help those affected by the floods in both Queensland and Victoria, through donations of money, food and beverages.