SOUTH Burnett dairy farmers stand to benefit from a milk formula factory being developed at Wellcamp.
By: Katherine Morris
Source: South Burnett Times
Formula produced there will be exported to Asia through Wellcamp airport.
Construction on the $50 million factory is due to start in January.
Managing director of the Toowoomba Premium Milk project Steve Laracy said the factory would create opportunities for South Burnett farmers, “though not necessarily en masse or in total production volumes at each farm”.
“Our ambition is to source milk from numerous suppliers and this region fits within the broader supply footprint we are looking for,” he said.
“This doesn’t mean it will be a white gold rush for everyone.”
Mr Laracy said the first raw milk supply was still two years away in late 2019.
He also said at this stage it was unsure about how much milk the project would need, with the first stage producing about 30 million tins of formula for export.
Investment is being sought for stage two, which is the $150 million fresh milk factory for the export market.
“Our strategic advantage is being able to fly out of Toowoomba. No one else has that capacity,” Mr Laracy said.
“We want to get into stage two as quickly as we can.”
Mr Laracy said he welcomed comments from Saputo chief executive Lino Saputo, the company that acquired Murray Goulburn, who said the days of $1 milk were numbered.
“He has market muscle to make this happen, or as a minimum significantly influence it,” Mr Laracy said.
“I have some insight into the input costs to milk production and I feel confident saying there is a significant disparity when water costs $3 for a 600ml bottle at the shops while milk costs $1 for one litre or, to be fair, $1.25 when bought in a litre bottle.
“A higher farm gate price in Victoria also enhances our position in the markets we are pursuing, and increases the possible opportunities for Queensland dairy farmers.”