Dairy Farmers

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Dairy Farmers
Founded15 January 1900 (1900-01-15)
FounderDairy Farmers Co-operative Milk Company, Illawarra, New South Wales, Australia
HeadquartersDocklands, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Area served
OwnerKirin Holdings Co. Ltd.
ParentLD&D Milk Pty Ltd
(Lion Dairy & Drinks)

Dairy Farmers Pty Ltd, originally established in 1900, is a brand owned by Lion Dairy & Drinks, and is distributed mainly New South Wales & Queensland in Australia. The core products sold under that Dairy Farmers brand are fresh milk (in NSW and Queensland only) and UHT "long-life" milk (Australia wide), as well as various other dairy snacks. It supplies products to local and international markets such as Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

LD&D's factories (which carry the "Dairy Farmers" brand) are located at:

These sites are also the locations printed on the back of all fresh milk bottles in NSW and QLD respectively.

Kirin Holdings Company Limited of Japan, via its subsidiary National Foods, acquired the company on 27 November 2008.[1][2] Kirin Holdings renamed "National Foods" as "Lion Dairy & Drinks" in 2009.


On 15 January 1900 (1900-01-15), the Dairy Farmers Co-operative Milk Co. Limited was created by 65 stakeholders, most being dairy farmers in the Illawarra region of New South Wales. The aim of the co-operative was to market their milk and butter products effectively to city customers.[3] Dairy Farmers was 100% Australian owned by Australian dairy farmers for 107 years, and ultimately had 11 processing facilities. In 2005, Dairy Farmers had the third-highest dairy sales in Australia, with Norco Co-operative second and National Foods, under its brand "Pura", first.[citation needed]

In 2008, Dairy Farmers was acquired by Kirin Holdings (Australia) Pty Ltd, part of the Kirin Group of Japan,[4] and became a 'brand' of National Foods, ending 108 years as a co-operative company. After Kirin Holdings acquired the alcoholic beverage company, Lion Nathan, in 2009, National Foods & Lion Nathan were merged to become "Lion Nathan National Foods". Lion Nathan National Foods became Lion and Lion Dairy & Drinks in 2011.

Dairy Farmers' head office was located in Homebush Bay, Sydney until 2008. Lion Dairy & Drinks has its head office is in Melbourne, but LD&D's parent, Lion, has its corporate head office in Sydney.


Dairy Farmers brand is mainly used for fresh milk (in NSW and Queensland), UHT "long-life" milk (Australia wide), "Thick & Creamy" yoghurt, and desserts, creams, custard and buttermilk.

Dairy Farmers produced the "Ski" yoghurt range (its main competitor being Yoplait) under licence from brand owner Nestlé, but after the company was acquired by National Foods (Kirin Holdings) in 2008, Fonterra purchased the "Ski" brand (still under licence from Nestlé), with the brand name changing to "Nestlé Ski" in 2012. In 2016 Fonterra divested its yoghurt range, which includes "Nestlé Ski" and "Nestlé Soleil", selling it to Parmalat.

As a company (prior to 2009), Dairy Farmers marketed a number of brands: a selection of milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, custard and flavoured milk varieties, sold under the main brand. The company had 11 processing plants in Australia, including at Wetherill Park in Sydney.

Company milestones[edit]

  • 1900 – Company established (The Dairy Farmers Co-operative Milk Co. Limited)
  • 1935 – Established first bottling plant in Sydney
  • Mid-1960s – Began producing cottage cheese and flavored yogurts
  • 1977 – Invested in Ultra High Temperature (UHT) production
  • 1989 – Acquisitions and mergers saw the formation of, Australian Co-operative Foods (ACF), to be known as Dairy Farmers
  • 1993 – Acquired Dairy Vale (SA), Midland Milk (Vic), Malanda Co-operative (FNQ), and Queensco-Unity Dairyfoods Co-operative (SEQ)
  • 1997 – Acquired the COON, Mil Lel and Fred Walker cheese brands, and the licence for the Cracker Barrel brand. Merged with Malanda Dairy Foods and integrated the Dairy Vale business
  • 2005 – Restructured and refocused the company. Separated the FMCG business from the milk supply co-operative
  • 2008 – Acquired by Japanese-owned food and beverage company Kirin Holdings. Dairy Farmers' became a brand of National Foods.
  • 2009 – National Foods became Lion Nathan National Foods, after Kirin Co. Ltd acquired 100% of Lion.
  • 2011 – Lion Nathan National Foods separated into two new divisions, "Lion" and "Lion Dairy & Drinks" (LD&D Milk Pty Ltd and LD&D Foods Pty Ltd), with head offices in Sydney & Melbourne respectively.


  1. ^ "Japanese firm readies bid for Dairy Farmers". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 26 August 2008.
  2. ^ "National Foods to acquire Dairy Farmers for $910 million" (Press release). Dairy Farmers Limited. 25 August 2008. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 28 September 2008.
  3. ^ "Our History". Student pack. Australian Co-operative Foods Limited. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2007.
  4. ^ "Facts at a glance". What we do. Australian Co-operative Foods Limited. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2007.

External links[edit]