The Co-op also confirmed that farmers will have until September 2018, three months longer than originally announced, to make any necessary adjustments before demerits are applied.
The Co-op has established the FEI test to assist farmers in producing milk with a fat composition suitable for manufacturing products that meet customer specifications.
In March 2017, the FEI test was rolled out across the tanker system and all farms nationwide. Since May, farmers have been able to view their FEI results dating back to January 2017 on their tanker dockets, On Farm app and Farm Source online. In June, the Co-op announced that a grading system would be introduced based on the FEI test and that farmers would have a full year to adapt before incurring demerits.
Lisa Payne, Regional Head for Farm Source, explained that the FEI Grading System will help farmers supply milk with the right fat composition so that the Co-op can continue to manufacture products that meet customer specifications and provide the best return to farmers.
“The Co-op has a responsibility to constantly evolve to meet our customers’ needs, and provide the highest value return for every drop of milk.
“Therefore, we need to make sure that the milk supplied can be manufactured into the products that meet our customers’ specifications. While the vast majority of our farmers are providing milk with the right fat composition, the FEI Grading System will help others meet this requirement,” said Ms Payne.
Following extensive consultation with its farmers that included feedback from more than 700 farmers, the Co-operative announced the final details of the grading system.
|A||Meets requirements||< 7.50|
|B||Meets requirements but is approaching threshold limit||7.50 – 9.00||Alert|
|C||Exceeds threshold limit||9.01 – 11.00||2 demerits||10% per collection day|
|D||Well in excess of threshold limit||> 11.00||4 demerits||20% per collection day|