The UDV has expressed disappointment at the prospective loss of the largest farmer-owned co-operative in Australia.
‘‘This agreement between Murray Goulburn and Saputo provides the industry with some clarity and a path forward to repair trust and transparency in our sector,’’ UDV president Adam Jenkins said.
‘‘The Murray Goulburn Board has ensured the deal will be the best step forward for both suppliers and industry, but it is nevertheless upsetting that we have ended up here and we feel for long-term supporters of MG who feel gutted at losing the Australian co-op.
‘‘The UDV will be watching the development of this agreement and we will be supporting our farmers throughout the process,’’ Mr Jenkins said.
‘‘The Victorian dairy industry has been built on integrity and community support, and it’s now up to Saputo to show MG suppliers a long-term vision that will help keep the sector sustainable.’’
Mr Jenkins acknowledged that Saputo, which also owns Warrnambool Cheese and Butter, had built a good reputation within the industry and it was promising to have a company willing to invest $1.3billion into the Victorian dairy industry.
Mr Jenkins said the UDV would now call on Saputo and all other processors to show leadership by increasing transparency around milk pricing and showing proper regard for their impact on farming businesses and communities.