The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is thrilled to announce that one million litres of Farmers’ Fund milk has been sold at Coles’ supermarkets in Victoria since the product’s launch last September.
Twenty cents a litre from the milk sales has been directed to the Farmers’ Fund, which was established by the VFF to provide practical support to dairy farmers in south eastern Australia.
As a result of the sales and a $1 million donation to the fund from Coles, grants of up to $20,000 were allocated to 60 farming families in the first round of funding. Additional grants are due to be allocated in the second round of funding this month.
VFF President and Chair of the Farmers’ Fund Advisory Panel, David Jochinke, said that the VFF is delighted to see consumers choosing to support dairy farmers through the purchase of Farmers’ Fund milk.
“It is encouraging that consumers continue to show their support for the Farmers’ Fund initiative. One million litres of milk sold is a strong milestone and allows us to continue providing grants to farmers in need,” said Mr Jochinke.
Young dairy farmer, Jason Riley from Dumbalk in Victoria is a first round Farmers’ Fund grant recipient and put his $20,000 in funding towards pasture and paddock renovations on his farm.
Jason’s love for the outdoors and animals encouraged him to pursue a farming apprenticeship, which led him to realise a passion for dairy farming.
“I am a young farmer just starting out and following a particularly tough season, a helping hand was very much appreciated. The Farmers’ Fund grant has been a huge help and I cannot be more thankful for the contributions that the VFF and Coles have made.
“Everyone that I have encountered in the dairy industry has been so supportive to work with and it really reaffirms my decision to pursue a life in the farming industry,” said Mr Riley.
All funds raised through the sale of Farmers’ Fund milk will be distributed through a new round of grant applications every three months.
“The VFF is thrilled with the positive impact the Farmers’ Fund has achieved through delivering $1 million worth of grants in the first round to 60 dairy farmers. The livelihood of local farmers is of the utmost importance and we will continue to support the industry with grants from the Farmers’ Fund,” said Mr Jochinke.
The second round of grant applications for the Farmers’ Fund have now closed and successful applicants will be announced once the review process is complete.
Applications for the third round of Farmers’ Fund grants will open for dairy farmers from Monday, 20 February 2017.