In 2013, South Australian dairy farmers began a collaborative partnership to create a new label to market their own fresh milk direct to consumers - SADA Fresh.
Created by the South Australian Dairyfarmers' Association (SADA) to help secure the future of the state's dairy industry, the brand gives SA consumers a direct way to support local farmers who have been experiencing tough times.
Now, after seven years of supplying local SA milk direct to consumers, SADA Fresh is launching a new cheese range on behalf of farmers, in partnership with Coles.
The SADA Fresh's first cheese range is produced locally by Beston Global Food Company, at Murray Bridge and was launched at Coles, Victor Harbor on Friday, October 16.
The SADA Fresh initiative is helping farmers achieve a fair price for their product and ensuring the future of the SA dairy industry through contributions from the sale of milk and cheese.
These contributions go to an industry development fund, supporting dairy farmers through delivery of innovative projects and services. More than $2 million has been raised.
Attendees at the launch included Member for Finniss and Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham, Dr Roger Sexton from Beston Global Foods Company, president of the SA Dairyfarmers' Association John Hunt and Coles Head of Store Operations SA/NT Neil Borrington and Mount Compass dairy farmers Ben McHugh and Nick Brokenshire.
SADA Fresh cheeses will further assist SADA to support farmers through their advocacy work.
Mr Basham said South Australia has a long and proud history of producing premium milk and dairy products.
"I was lucky enough to launch the SADA milk range back in 2013 as association president and I'm now proud to be launching SADA's new cheese range as Minister," Mr Basham said.
"One of the key aims of the SA Dairy Industry Action Plan is for the state to be globally recognised as one of the safest and greatest places to obtain dairy products and this will add to this premium reputation we are building - both locally and internationally."
SADA President John Hunt said the cheese range means SADA would be able to expand its work in promoting the interests of SA dairy farmers, while continuing to build collaborative manufacturing relationships across the supply chain.
"SADA is grateful to Coles and Beston for supporting SA producers," Mr Hunt said.
"This means that our farmers sell more milk, South Australian cheese makers, cutters, packers and transporters are employed and consumers can purchase quality South Australian produce with confidence.
"SADA, through its business entity SADA Fresh, supports SA dairy farmers by ensuring a good price is paid by the cheese manufacturer, in this case Beston Global Foods, to the farmer.
"For this cheese product, Beston pays $7.20 per kg milk solids to SA farmers, which is above the long-term average for this type of product.
"Our goal is to take our milk and cheese range global with further work to begin export of our range in 2021."
Mount Compass dairy farmer and SADA board member Ben McHugh said the launch of the cheese brand would strengthen the industry.
"The dairy industry has experienced many tough patches and the money used will go to promoting, strengthening and protecting the industry. The dairy industry has been in decline over the past decade, so this launch of the cheese brand by SADA is great news," Mr McHugh said.
Coles Head of Store Operations SA/NT Neil Borrington said Coles was excited to stock SADA Fresh cheese, which will support the state's dairy farmers.
"We know our customers love to buy products made in South Australia," he said.
"Since launching SADA Fresh milk in our supermarkets seven years ago, it's become the most popular branded milk at Coles in South Australia and we think our customers will also really love SADA Fresh's cheese."
Beston Global Food Company Chairman Dr Roger Sexton said the company was proud to partner with SADA on this initiative to deliver strong support to SA dairy farmers.
"It is with great pleasure that Beston Global Foods has entered a supply arrangement with SADA to provide high quality cheese styles for distribution across the Coles SA network," he said.
"We continue to deliver strong milk pricing to South Australian dairy farmers which represents our confidence and material contribution to a strong SA dairy industry.
"In combination with SADA and Coles, it is heartening to be able to turn Beston's investment in SA farmers, into products that provide quality alternatives to interstate dairy products on Coles shelves in South Australia, and helps firm up the South Australian dairy farmer's future."