Due to facing financial difficulties and the restraints of a small processing plant, South Coast Dairy have made the decision to sell the brand to Australasian Diaries, with the transition of companies taking place over the next few weeks.
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END OF THE LINE: The South Coast Dairy factory at Berry will close after the operation has been sold to Australasian Dairies. File image.

A South Coast Dairy spokesperson confirmed that around 15 part-time and casual employees were made redundant on Friday, May 21, with a couple of staff members remaining on the site to clean up operations.

“The restraints of a small processing plant plus our ever growing market combined with financial difficulties led us to this outcome,” a statement from the Berry Rural Co-operative Society Ltd Board of Directors provided, who are behind the South Coast Dairy brand.

“While it has been a heartbreaking decision to close our Berry plant, impacting our wonderful staff and families, we were left with no alternative.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing staff for their efforts and support over the years. They are second to none and we offer them our support in this difficult time.”

Milk will continue to be sourced from the South Coast, supporting the local community and Shoalhaven farmers, according to the statement.

“We will continue to operate as the South Coast Dairy brand, while the business will transition and operate under Australasian Dairies.”

Based in the Inner West of Sydney, Australasian Diaries are a 100 per cent Australian-owned company and are the face of products like Nature One’s Dairy Instant Baby Formula and Nature One’s Instant Full Cream Milk Powder.

“With their direction we can finally see our milk reaching its full potential as we envisaged years ago,” said the statement from the Berry Co-op.

“As local South Coast farmers we are fully supportive of the direction Australasian Dairies will take our product.”

While it is confirmed the processing plant on Old Creamery Lane at Berry will close, the spokesperson was unable to confirm whether the plant could or would be used for an alternative purpose.

The Berry Co-op was established by Shoalhaven dairy farmers in 1911 and consists of six families.

The brand has been praised for its success, receiving many accolades over the years, including taking home four gold medals, five silver and a bronze at the 2018 Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce competition.

The farmers supplied about 50,000 litres of milk per week under the South Coast Dairy brand throughout the South Coast, Southern Highlands and parts of Sydney.

Nominations are open for Fonterra’s board election but a repeat of the drama that rocked the vote three years ago can be ruled out.

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