Lion Dairy & Drinks (Lion) today announced it will temporarily increase the wholesale price of its Dairy Farmers and Pura branded white milk products to support its dairy farmers impacted by drought as part of a broader raft of support measures already in place for farmers in need.

The temporary 10 cent per litre wholesale price increase will be applied to all Dairy Farmers and Pura 1L, 2L, and 3L white milk products sold to participating retail outlets across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland from Monday 1 October for a period of time.

Every cent of the funds raised in each state during the activation will be distributed to drought-affected dairy farmers in that state who supply Lion either directly or through the Dairy Farmers Milk Cooperative (DFMC).

Lion is committed to playing its part to help our dairy farmers through the drought crisis, and has already

taken a number of other steps including:

  • Offering our farmers impacted by the drought across NSW access to interest-free loans to purchase feed, under The Lion Dairy Pride Forage Loan Scheme;
  • Offering our farmers access to discounted feed such as brewers’ grain and citrus pulp, which is sourced from Lion’s alcohol and juice operations;
  • Helping to fund productivity improvements on farm through the Lion Dairy Pride Landcare Grants Scheme;
  • Helping farmers improve all areas of their businesses, from milk quality through to effective business management, through Lion’s Dairy Pride online self-assessment tool; and
  • Continuing to offer our Lion Dairy Pride Farmer Support Program – an independent and confidential 24 hour counseling support service to our farmers, their families and staff, to help them address any personal issues and access further support if needed.


Lion Dairy & Drinks Managing Director, Kathy Karabatsas, said: “With 100% of New South Wales drought- declared, along with areas across Northern Victoria and South East Queensland, we know that the dairy farmers supplying us in these regions are doing it tough, especially with escalating costs including for feed and water.”

“We are grateful we have secured the support of major grocery and convenience customers, who have indicated their acceptance of this wholesale price increase to Dairy Farmers and Pura branded milk products, knowing that 100 per cent of the increase is going directly to the farmers who supply our milk.”

Lion Dairy & Drinks also strives to provide clarity and transparency for our dairy farmers in relation to milk pricing and contracts. We offer farmers a variety of contract length and pricing options, including offering farmers in the Southern Region fixed and variable pricing options, with farmers able to select the option that best suits the needs of their business. Lion does not believe in retrospective changes in milk price. It has never introduced retrospective payments as part of its milk contracts and does not support them as a matter of principle.

Lion’s Farm Services Team will continue to work closely with all of our farmers in drought-affected regions to monitor conditions and do what it can to assist further.


Funds raised via the 10c per litre increase in wholesale pricing for Dairy Farmers and Pura white milk will be paid each month to Lion’s participating dairy suppliers in the impacted regions of NSW, Northern Victoria and South East Queensland as a special line item called Lion Drought Assistance.

A committee will oversee the payments process and provide appropriate independence and transparency. The Committee will comprise a management representative from the DFMC, a Lion direct dairy farmer and Murray Jeffrey, Lion Agricultural Procurement Director. The committee will meet regularly to oversee the scheme’s implementation and to ensure the timely delivery of funds to our drought-impacted farmers.

A representative from a professional auditing firm will be appointed as the scheme’s independent auditor and will be invited to attend Committee meetings.

Funds will be distributed amongst suppliers in the drought-affected regions on a cents-per-litre basis. For example, if the amount raised from the wholesale price increase in one state in a given month is $100,000, and the raw milk volume from suppliers in that state’s drought affected region is 5,000,000 litres in total, this will equate to a 2c per litre Lion Drought Assistance Payment to our dairy suppliers in that region. There will be no obligation on suppliers to accept any Lion Drought Assistance Payments.


Farmers Union High Protein Low Fat Yogurt and Yoplait Petit Miam Plain yoghurt are finalists in the 2018 Healthy Food Guide Awards.

This is a guide to the most nutritious food products available in supermarkets, published annually by Healthy Food Guide Magazine.

The Healthy Food Guide Awards help shoppers select the healthiest packaged food options available, and are judged by a panel of qualified dietitians to ensure that winning products are a great choice for consumers across the country. From a wide range of entries these judges shortlist to six finalists per category (10 categories in total) and Lion Dairy & Drinks (Lion) is proud to have two great nutritious products shortlisted within the awards.

Farmers Union High Protein Low Fat Yogurt has been shortlisted in the Best Yoghurt category, and Petit Miam Plain is a finalist in the Best Lunchbox Snack category. This is the first time these products have been shortlisted for the Healthy Food Guide Awards.

Farmers Union High Protein Low Fat Yogurt is a favourite of Australian consumers, and a great addition to any healthy diet. The yoghurt contains high quality protein which is an essential part of a balanced diet, and the goodness of calcium, all with no added sugar! This product contains Farmers Union’s signature tart taste making it a great option to incorporate within cooking, or to enjoy by itself.

Yoplait Petit Miam Plain yoghurt contains no added sugar, flavours or preservatives, and is filled with the goodness of milk, in a convenient pouch size for kids. The pouches make a great inclusion within kids’ lunchboxes and are a choice parents can feel good about providing their kids.

These products, and many others across the Lion Dairy & Drinks portfolio, illustrate Lion’s commitment to continuing to improve the nutritional goodness of our product portfolio, as well as commitments to further improve the nutrition content of our products, address pack and serving sizes, and increasing the nutritional literacy of Australian consumers.

Winners will be announced in the November issue of Healthy Food Guide Magazine.


Dairy Australia has created a feed shortage website where farmers can find all the information they need in one spot.

The Feed Shortage 2018 website has some great information around feed budgeting, drought feeding options, hay and grain reports and mental health and wellbeing.

Dairy Australia says Australia’s fodder market continues to be tight and suggest farmers plan ahead and make informed decisions with these tools and resources.

It has resources available to support farmers ranging from feed planning and budgeting, to the latest market information.

You can watch the video on the website to learn more about the impact of cost and climate on farm, and the actions farmers are taking to manage high feed costs. There are also fact sheets on managing pasture paddocks in dry conditions.


The Burnie Ten has a new naming rights partner. The Heritage (Burnie), already a major partner, will continue its involvement this year as Naming Rights Partners of Tasmania’s iconic road race.

“For us this is a natural progression and demonstrates our strong commitment to promote, support and encourage positive health outcomes for our local community,” Cameron Bruce, General Manager Lion Specialty Cheese, said.

“The Burnie Ten is iconic in Tasmania and is held in high regard as an important race on the Australian running calendar. Alongside this, the race has tremendous support from the Tasmanian community attracting nearly 3,000 people from across the State.

“This new partnership is a terrific endorsement of the efforts of all our volunteers and recognition of the substantial public support the race enjoys.”

Burnie Ten race director Rick Ferguson agreed and said the Heritage has a long-standing reputation of community involvement.

“The Heritage has been a major business partner of the Burnie Ten for many years as well as being the Naming Rights Partner of the Burnie Athletic Club’s Burnie Gift, so it is wonderful to have them take on this Naming Rights Partnership,” he said.

The Heritage Burnie Ten will be held on Sunday 21 October 2018. There will be three separate races this year:

“The Heritage Burnie Ten is incredibly fortunate to enjoy the level of community support we have every year. The region is justifiably proud and this year we celebrate 34 years, which is a great accomplishment for those who have been involved over the past three decades,” Rick Ferguson said.

“The Heritage Burnie Ten attracts the very best of the nation’s elite athletes. Out of all our State’s fun runs we are the richest race in Tasmania with over $16,000 in prizemoney and we boast the quickest time for 10km (Darren Wilson’s 28:11 in 1997).

“The Heritage Burnie Ten is still the biggest event of its type in Tasmania outside of the State capital.”


Applications have now closed for the 2018 Lion Dairy Pride Landcare Grants Program and successful applicants will be notified next month.

If your farm has been selected, you will know that reporting is a core requirement of the grant and your progress report is due 21 December 2018.

This report must include evidence of the improvements described within your original application, such as energy bills and before/after photos. Landcare Australia will liaise with you on your reporting requirements and if you have any questions at all, please do contact them on  

If you have received funding for an energy efficiency project, you are required to provide evidence of a reduction in energy usage (in kilowatt hours (kWh) and tonnes of carbon), for at least 12 months before, and 12 months after grant funds are provided – so it is important that you are maintaining detailed monitoring.

“We are delighted to have received a strong volume of applications for this year’s Lion Dairy Pride Landcare Grants Program”, said Lion Dairy & Drinks Managing Director Kathy Karabatsas.

“If you have not been successful with your application this time around, we encourage you to not be discouraged from your efforts to make your business more sustainable.

Sustainability is a key priority for Lion, and the Lion Dairy Pride program is rich with advice and resources that can help inform more sustainable practices for your business.

We also hope to continue our successful partnership with Landcare for years to come, and encourage you to reach out to your Farm Services Representative if you’d like to discuss your businesses’ sustainability practices.”


You may have heard that $1 from each carton of Lion Beer Australia’s Iron Jack sold in New South Wales and Queensland will be donated to Rural Aid.

As well, 50 cents from each schooner of Iron Jack sold at selected regional venues will be donated to local relief efforts led by the charity.

Lion Beer and Iron Jack kicked off the campaign by donating $100,000 to Rural Aid’s ‘Buy a Bale’ initiative and predict the ‘Beers for the Bush’ campaign will raise at least $1 million.

The Buy a Bale campaign was established in 2013 as a response to drought affecting Queensland’s farming communities. Since then the campaign has received over $4.5 million in donations, and become part of the broader Rural Aid program which aims to provide a holistic support program to rural Australia.

We encourage any farmers affected by the drought who may be eligible to receive benefit from the Buy a Bale initiative to visit to register for the program by answering a short questionnaire about your location, situation and challenges being faced by your business. From there, Rural Aid will contact you to discuss the program and your eligibility.

You can also access information on other drought support here. 

If you would like more information about this initiative, or other measures in place, please contact Daniel Dickenson on email: or mobile: 0407 282 944



Heidi Farm Raclette and King Island Dairy Roaring Forties Blue were recognised as the champion cheeses that they are at the recent NSW Dairy Industry of Australia Awards and the Perth Royal Food Awards respectively.

Heidi Farm Raclette took out the Grand Champion Dairy product of the show in NSW and King Island Dairy Roaring Forties Blue was awarded Champion Bovine Cheese at the Perth Royal Food Awards.

“We love our cheeses and are extremely proud to see them recognized at these awards! It’s also very exciting to have qualifying results that will put us in good stead for the Australian Grand Dairy Awards at the end of the year,” said Cameron Bruce, the General Manager, Cheese, for Lion Dairy & Drinks (Lion).

Heidi Farm Raclette is Australia’s most awarded cheese and presents an intense perfume and a mild nutty, milky flavour. The rind of the cheese is washed and scrubbed during production, promoting flavour development and ripening.

The supple, satiny interior of this multiple Australian Grand Champion Cheese is best appreciated when the cheese is melted or cooked. Traditionally Raclette is melted on a raclette burner, scraped and eaten with boiled waxy potatoes and pickles.

Also recognised at the NSW Dairy Industry of Australia Awards were Heidi Farm Tilsit, awarded gold in eye cheese and South Cape Greek Fetta, who was awarded a silver medal in the fetta category.

King Island Dairy Roaring Forties is a full flavored blue with a rich mouthfeel and sweet, slightly fruity character. It is named after the infamous Roaring Forties gales that frequently whip around the Island at more than 100km per hour.

Also recognised at the Perth Royal Food Shows were King Island Dairy Furneaux, awarded gold in the white mould category and South Cape Cracked Pepper, awarded gold in the Club Cheddar Category.

You can read the full list of winners below.


King Island Dairy has been producing award winning and world class specialty cheese and dairy products since the early 1900s. The King Island Dairy manufacturing site produces our full range of specialty cheese products, creating more than 1,500 tonnes of delicious cheese each year.

Our people are passionate about King Island and the specialty cheese we produce, none more so than Head Cheesemaker Ueli Berger who has worked with King Island Dairy since 1998. The grandson of a cheesemaker and son of a dairy farmer, Swiss born Ueli’s career in the industry has spanned more than 25 years, during which time he has earned acclaim domestically and internationally, receiving awards from the New York Fancy Food Show, The World Championship Cheese Contest and the Australian Grand Dairy Awards, amongst others.


Our Heritage site in Tasmania manufactures almost 100 cheese products and is the largest specialty cheese manufacturer in the southern hemisphere. The Heritage site was established in 1955 as Lactos, producing 50 tonnes per year of Edam, Gouda and Swiss cheeses. Since then, Lion has invested over $150 million to transform the site into one of the world’s most technically advanced specialty cheese facilities, with a capacity of 25,000 tonnes of product per year.


The drought conditions in NSW have caused financial challenges for many dairy farmers, with grain and hay prices dramatically increasing in response to demand.

Lion Dairy & Drinks (Lion) has introduced the Lion Dairy Pride Forage Loan Scheme to assist suppliers through this challenging financial time by forward purchasing feedstuffs, or getting on top of bills for forage that they have already purchased.

A total pool of $500,000 is available for loans to eligible NSW suppliers. You should have all received a letter advising you about the scheme, and we encourage you to review the information provided – and recapped below – to consider whether a loan could benefit your business.

The Lion Dairy Pride Forage Loan scheme is open to both Lion direct farmers (NSW only) and DFMC farmers that are in a ≥ 1 in 10 year or ≥ 1 in 20 year rain deficiency area, and in financial hardship. To check if your region falls within the required rain deficiency bandwidth, visit the Bureau of Meteorology website here.

Suppliers must be within contract and/or have signed a new contract for the FY 2018/19 with Lion or the DFMC. You will also need to demonstrate:

• Recent grain purchases >$350/t (ex. GST) delivered to farm, and/or:

• Above normal hay/silage purchases priced at >$260/t ex GST delivered to farm; and

• Provide scanned copies of receipts for these forage purchases

The maximum amount available to eligible suppliers will be calculated at 25% of your average monthly milk cheque (across FY 2017/18), capped at a maximum of $50,000 per supplier. You can choose to accept all, or part, of the maximum amount.

The loan is interest free and available as a lump sum payment, repayment will be made via equal instalments deducted from your monthly milk cheque over a six-month period – starting approximately one month after you receive the funds.

“We appreciate the challenges our NSW farmers have experienced this year as a result of the drought, and are committed to assisting in any way that we can” said Murray Jeffrey, Agricultural Procurement Director at Lion Dairy & Drinks.

“Lion encourages any farmers that feel they meet the above criteria, to revisit the recent letter for additional information, and to apply. If you have any questions about the application process or loan offering please consult your Farm Services Team representative.”

To re-download the letter of application, please visit milkline and open ‘NEWS ITEMS’.

Please consult an independent financial advisor or accountant for advice specific to your business and also visit the website or talk to the NSW Rural Assistance Authority to discuss the best option if you are considering taking up drought assistance.

For more information please visit: or the Rural Assistance Authority on

Additionally Dairy Australia has asked that we make our dairy farmers aware that Dairy Australia also generates two reports to help farmers make informed decisions when buying hay and grain. The hay and grain reports provide an independent and timely assessment of hay and grain markets in each dairying region and are freely available at

Feed Tools is a complete feed management toolset for dairy farmers and managers to assist with feed planning, cost and resource management, and is backed by Australian feed and pasture data to most accurately reflect the needs of your herd. Also available freely on line is an Excel based feed budgeting tool. Go to


Yoplait Petit Miam has announced an exciting new partnership with McDonald’s, providing dairy choices that parents can pick up for their children at McDonald’s restaurants nationwide.

The Yoplait Petit Miam strawberry squeezable yoghurt pouch is now available as a side option within the McDonald’s Happy Meal offer, and can also be purchased individually.

The Petit Miam range of children’s yoghurts contains 30% less sugar than the average flavoured yoghurt*, and is a great way to help kids get the nutrients they need for growth and development.

Lion Dairy & Drinks (Lion) is committed to delivering more natural goodness to every person, every day through the Goodness Promise.

This aim is well aligned with McDonald’s who – as one of the most frequented restaurants in the world – aims to use their reach to help families increase their access to fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy and water.

“We are delighted to team up with McDonald’s as we believe making healthy options more accessible is a great way to support parents in making healthier choices for their families,” Kathy Karabatsas, Managing Director of Lion Dairy & Drinks, said.

“And with the broad distribution networks that Lion and McDonalds’ both have there are great opportunities to offer healthier options to many Australians.

“By making nutritious products available in convenient locations beyond supermarkets, Lion Dairy & Drinks hopes to help remove barriers to healthy eating, and this is something we will continue to evolve across our product portfolio.”

The Yoplait Petit Miam range is manufactured in Australia using exclusively dairy milk from Australian farms. The range contains the goodness of real fruit with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

*see for more detail


Lion Dairy & Drinks (Lion) is delighted to offer dairy farmers the opportunity to apply for a financial grant to support sustainability initiatives on their farm, with applications for the 2018 Lion Dairy Pride Landcare Grants Program open until August 15 2018.

The grants program is designed to help Lion’s dairy farmers develop more sustainable practices for their businesses, increasing on-farm efficiencies, lowering operating costs and helping to secure the long-term sustainability of recipient’s businesses.

Lion has partnered with Landcare Australia since 2016 to offer this program, and exceptional results have been achieved to date. Click here to read about the sustainability results already achieved by the 2017 grant recipients.

This year, a total funding pool of $80,000 (excl. GST) is available for eight grants of up to $10,000 (excl. GST) per project. Applications are now open and can be made via the Landcare Australia Communities Portal until August 15 2018.

For an overview of the steps required, click here.

To be eligible to receive a grant, you must address at least one of the two priority funding areas:

Improving on-farm biodiversity and land management, by supporting improvements to biodiversity, native habitat or vegetation communities, nutrient management, and / or reducing erosion impacts;


Improving energy efficiency of applicant’s farm, through reducing energy consumption and /or implementing renewable energy infrastructure.

This program is offered exclusively to Lion farmers as part of Lion’s Dairy Pride program – a free sustainability program that is available to all Lion’s dairy farmers and offers a way to measure, evaluate and improve key areas of sustainability on their farms.

Lion Dairy & Drinks Managing Director Kathy Karabatsas said LDD was delighted to partner with Landcare Australia again, in what has been an impactful partnership to date.

“Supporting our farmers in improving sustainability, productivity and profitability of their businesses is extremely important to Lion dairy & Drinks, and we encourage all of our dairy farmers to review the application criteria and consider applying for the grants program, we look forward to helping recipients achieve their sustainability goals in 2018,” Ms Karabatsas said.

For additional information on the eligibility criteria, and how to apply, visit, or contact Landcare Australia via phone: (03) 8631 7800 or email:

If you would like to discuss if this is right for your business, please reach out to your Farm Services Team representative.