The initiative has quickly gained traction, with more than 110 dairy farmers across Southland, Otago and Canterbury already signed up. That includes 19 Southland farmers, with the number expected to exceed 30 by the start of the 2018/19 season.
Based on a strong belief that the co-operative model is the best fit for Kiwi farmers, MyMilk enables members to supply Fonterra for up to five years before having to purchase shares. This flexibility gives farmers time to establish their business and gets them up to speed with environmental regulations so they can become a fully share-backed farmer of the Co-operative.
For Paul and Phillipa Clements, it was an easy decision. “MyMilk is making it possible for suppliers to come into the Co-operative in a manageable way, which is really good thinking and certainly works well for us”.
Mark Williams says “MyMilk has been a great stepping stone and their service has been of a very high standard. Whenever you need someone they are just a phone call away. MyMilk has a high level of professionalism and they want us to succeed”.
As part of MyMilk, farmers have access to some of the value-added services offered by Fonterra. A MyMilk farmer has access to the Tiaki Sustainable Dairy Programme, an initiative designed to support farmers as they get up to speed with new guidelines around farm environment plans, nutrient budgets, consent requirements and other environmental aspects on farm.
That’s reason enough to join MyMilk, according to General Manager April Pike. “Recent changes in Southland have impacted environmental and sustainable planning,” says Pike. “For MyMilk farmers, access to Fonterra’s experts will help support any challenges that may arise.”
At any stage during the five year period, farmers can share-up, becoming fully-fledged members of the Fonterra Co-op. Joining the Co-op allows MyMilk farmers the ability to gain full access to all the benefits of being a Fonterra shareholder including having access to reward dollars as soon as they are earned, a dividend and the Fonterra farmgate milk price.
To find out more visit https://mymilk.co.nz.