SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS: CQ United Dairies' farmers Peter Woodland, his son Matt Woodland and his brother David Woodland are producing local milk for major supermarkets.
SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS: CQ United Dairies' farmers Peter Woodland, his son Matt Woodland and his brother David Woodland are producing local milk for major supermarkets. Contributed

New co-op delivers fresh milk to major supermarkets

LOCAL dairy farmers are buoyed by the public response to their new milk brand, which has hit major supermarket shelves.

After previously struggling to survive, the farmers banded together to form a co-operative, sourcing milk from 21 farms across Central Queensland.

The CQ United Dairies milks are being sold at local Woolworths stores at a price farmer Peter Woodland said was more expensive than cheaper brands but better quality.

"Our product retails for $4.50 for two litres or $2.25 a litre but we believe it is a high-quality product and worth it," said Mr Woodland, who milks 150 cows at his Mackay farm.

"So far it's been pretty successful and I believe Woolworths is reasonably happy. There is a still a long way to go because a lot of people still don't know what it is and are probably walking past the shelf not realising it is a local product.

"The opportunity is there and hopefully it will grow into something in the future."

The co-operative was formed in 2017 by farmers who were determined to survive as others closed around them.

Many of the farms have been operated by families for more than 100 years.

Woolworths local sourcing manager for Queensland, Dan Cashin, said the locally produced milk would be sold in Whitsunday and Central Queensland stores.

"We know our customers love buying local brands and supporting local dairy farmers," he said.

Mr Woodland said teaming up with Woolworths made economic sense because of the customer base.

"The support shown towards CQ United Dairies is helping to keep local industry in regional Queensland and has helped to ease the pressure off what has been a tough fight to get ourselves established in the marketplace" he said.

Central Queensland Dairy Fresh products are available at both Woolworths outlets in Emerald.