Murray Goulburn

How did Murray Goulburn, once Australia’s biggest milk processor and a successful dairy cooperative since 1950, end up being sold to its international competitor, Canadian dairy giant Saputo? In the final part of this series (read), Elena Garcia provides some answers. [You can also read part one, two and three.]

Despite the profitability of the Australian dairy industry and its claims to support “innovation" and "jobs and growth”, the federal government refused to step in and help Murray Goulburn expand into untapped Asian markets.

Dairy cows in a field

How did Murray Goulburn, once Australia’s biggest milk processor and a successful dairy cooperative since 1950, end up being sold to its international competitor, Canadian dairy giant Saputo? In the second of this multi-part series , Elena Garcia provides some answers.

 

How did Murray Goulburn, once Australia’s biggest milk processor and a successful dairy cooperative since 1950, end up sold to its international competitor, Canadian dairy giant Saputo? In the first of this multi-part series, Elena Garcia provides some answers.

After nearly 70 years as a cooperative that was wholly owned by the farmers who supply the milk, on April 5 Victorian dairy farmers voted to sell Murray Goulburn, once Australia’s biggest dairy processing business, to foreign owners.

This month there have been four big wins for the union movement. Seventy jobs were saved at Murray Goulburn after a six month campaign; Dave, the union delegate sacked for leading a protest in his undies, has been reinstated; electricians at Crown Casino all got their jobs back on union conditions; and supermarket giant Coles has agreed to fast-track a vote on a new workplace agreement that will pay much higher penalty rates.

* * *

Australia’s largest milk processor Murray Goulburn has announced it will close manufacturing plants in three small rural towns: Kiewa and Rochester in northern Victoria and Edith Creek in Tasmania.

Murray Goulburn expects 360 people will lose their jobs. The closures are in areas where there are no other industries.

This will have a huge impact on these three local communities. The 700 residents of Kiewa-Tangambalanga will lose 135 jobs from Murray Goulburn's factory closure.

The dairy industry is in crisis and dairy sustainability is under attack.

In Victoria — where most dairy farms are — Australia’s largest processor, farmer-owned co-operative Murray Goulburn, allowed outside investors to become members, to get the funds to build more infrastructure to take advantage of export opportunities. Murray Goulburn prioritised paying returns to those investors out of their 2016 $44 million annual profit, rather than to the farmers who supply the product.

Subscribe to Murray Goulburn