Bulla Dairy Foods has thrown down the gauntlet in the battle for milk supply, announcing its 2021/22 opening price this week.
Under the Mandatory Dairy Code of Conduct, all dairy processors are required to announce their new season price by June 1.
But with processors tipped to be scrambling for supply in a strong market, Bulla has made a bold move in announcing its price in mid-April.
It announced 2021-22 opening prices in a range from $6.40 to $6.90 a kilogram milk solids.
That's 10-20c/kg MS up on last year's opening price range of $6.30-$6.70/kg MS.
The new season prices include an extra price band - band 0 for suppliers who supply above 49 per cent milk supply ratio.
The price is in line with the current season stepped-up price announced in December.
- Bega and Burra announce their first milk price step ups this season
- Bulla returns to full production in Colac following COVID-19 outbreak
Bulla has become a pace setter in milk pricing since moving four years ago to source milk directly from suppliers.
It was the first processor to announce a step up this season, increasing prices more than two months ahead of other processors.
It was also the first to announce an opening price last season.
The company is committed to providing a simple, flat pricing model, with no stop charge, volume charge or milk collection fee.
"We are so proud of how our team has risen to the challenge of 2020, and this includes our extended team of dairy farmers," Bulla Dairy Foods chief executive officer Allan Hood said.
"As a result of our resilience and hard work, together we have maintained solid performance across the business, and we will always ensure the rewards of this hard work is shared with our valued network of farmers.
"An integral part of our Bulla family, we aim to grow with our farmer partner's businesses through a transparent and collaborative partnership at all stops on the journey, including sharing an early opening milk price and ongoing consideration of step ups."
The Colac, Vic, based processor faced a tough time during the COVID-19 pandemic, with production disrupted following an outbreak of cases at the plant.
But on the sales front, its cream sales and market share reached an all-time high with Bulla as the number one selling brand of fresh cream in every state.
The company also expanded its presence in Asia with the launch of a new range of Bulla Australian-Style Yoghurt.
"Fresh milk from our suppliers is the centerpiece of Bulla's much-loved products, and we continue to be appreciative of the support and quality milk product from our dairy farming community and look forward to collaborating and planning for what will no doubt be another successful year," Mr Hood said.
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