The drought conditions suffered by suppliers in many regions have been, and continue to be, very trying. Lion Dairy & Drinks introduced a temporary wholesale price increase on 1, 2 & 3 litre fresh white milk and with the support of participating retailers in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland created the Be True Blue Farmer Drought Fund. All fund proceeds have been distributed to Lion Dairy & Drinks dairy suppliers through DFMC or directly to farmers in drought affected NSW, South East Queensland and Northern Victoria. 

DFMC chairman Andrew Burnett joined with Lion Dairy & Drinks Agricultural Procurement Director Murray Jeffrey and another LDD dairy supplier to form the Fund’s Oversight Committee. The Committee met monthly to ensure the accuracy, independent assessment and transparency in the payment process. Ernst & Young were also appointed as the independent auditors of the Fund.

The program has come to an end, with the last fund payment made on 15 February 2019.

“I can’t thank Lion enough for the program, the money was a real help to farming cash flows,” Andrew said.

“The fund has distributed just under $3.5 million, which is clearly significant.”

DFMC is conscious that many farmers are still facing very tough weather conditions.