FARMER Greg Dennis will sell the robotic dairy at Tamrookum, where 4Real Milk is produced.
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PULLING THE PIN: Scenic Rim 4Real Milk owner Greg Dennis at his Tamrookum farm. Photo: Jocelyn Garcia

Mr Dennis has long been an advocate for local producers and in 2016 he drove a tractor 2000 kilometres to highlight the plight of dairy farmers.

His announcement on Facebook generated a flurry of responses, some from people who mistakenly took the message to mean 4Real Milk was closing.

Mr Dennis said the family was in the process of selling but would not shut down.

“It’s very much business as usual,” he said. “Last week we entered five products in the Australian Dairy Industry Association’s dairy product competition, where our lactose-free milk and four Dragon products won silver.”

AWARDS: The prizewinning products will still be produced at the Tamrookum farm. Photo: Supplied

His story is that of many dairy farmers.

In the 1980s Australia had about 22,000 dairy farms but drought and low prices have seen this drop to fewer than 6000, with Queensland the hardest hit of all states.

In his Facebook Post, Farmer Gregie said the decision was made because despite best efforts, it had been a constant struggle to make a profit.

“We’ve come to the end of our road, here on the Dennis family farm,” he said. “I’ve regularly spoken of the tireless hours that the four oldies have put in – but at 80, 78, 77 and 72 – working full time is not okay.

“Full time for dad and Uncle Ray is 70-plus hours a week each … not 38 hours with penalty rates. Mum and Aunty Rose probably do close to 90 hours between them – from hay sales, accounts, wages and hosting tours.”

Mr Dennis wrote that he appreciated the positive feedback from so many.

“At the end of the day though, I feel I have failed my family, and this farm, I have overseen the demise of a once profitable business.

“I’m sure I have many farming friends who have felt this way over the years and maybe a broken system in Australia played its role too

“I’ve always remained hopeful that a buyer would come in and maintain the integrity of what I started. With a great crew in the factory, under Tracy’s management – and a team on farm who know how to get the job done, if and when that buyer arrives, I’m hoping it will be business as usual…

“Maybe with some fresh blood, and fresh ideas, and some marketing we could never afford – 4Real Milk will live on and prosper…

“Where to for me…who knows?”

Shares of Saputo Inc. SAP, -0.63% dropped 2.76% to C$33.15 Monday, in what proved to be an all-around negative trading session for the Canadian market.

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