Albury's dairy doom is Wagga’s win

Crowe Horwath's Chris Green, Coon's Dairy owner Linda Coon and Asher Davies and Andrew Dobson from Riverina Fresh.
Crowe Horwath's Chris Green, Coon's Dairy owner Linda Coon and Asher Davies and Andrew Dobson from Riverina Fresh.

WAGGA-BASED dairy Riverina fresh will attempt to replicate Albury-Wodonga’s beloved Kiewa Iced Coffee in wake of the imminent closure of Murray Goulburn's milk processing factory.

The locally sourced and bottled milk will seize the Border’s market when Coon’s Dairy broadens its distribution at the end of July. 

Riverina Fresh chief executive Rob Collier claims the company’s similar-tasting drink will not leave a bitter taste in the mouths’ of consumers.

“They are confident they can replicate it,” he said.

“We've already done one lot and it is probably 90 per cent there with more tweaks in the next week or so.

“We've got two iced coffees in our range presently and they are popular in the Riverina.

“We will call it whatever we are allowed to call it that tells people it is very similar in taste.”

The popularity of Riverina Fresh has reportedly “exploded” since the viral local milk movement of 2016. 

Lake Albert Foodworks owner Rodney Porter said sales of both flavoured and natural milk increased up to 40 per cent from the previous year.

"I noticed our girls in dairy had to expend the facings of the Riverina Fresh brand from three rows to now having a full shelf because the demand has just exploded,” he said.

Woolworths has also expanded expand its range of Riverina Fresh milk to include far-reaching areas of Victoria such as Wangaratta, Benalla and Yarrawonga.

Coon’s Dairy will transition to supplying 100 per cent Riverina Fresh milk to Woolworths supermarkets.

“When I was faced with the decision of sourcing a new milk, my main focus was to find a like for like product range that is produced as locally as possible,” owner Linda Coon said.

“Riverina Fresh meets all those requirements, plus more.

“It’s a great quality, award-winning milk that is produced only an hour away.

It follows the closure of Kiewa’s Murray Goulburn plant – set to produce its final carton at the end of the month. 

More than 130 employees will be out of work as a result of the decision. 

“It’s also great that the guys at Riverina Fresh are working towards giving our customers the same iced coffee taste the locals love.”

Riverina MP Michael McCormack described the company’s appointment in Albury-Wodonga as a small business success. 

“Congratulations to Riverina Fresh on the opportunity to become main supplier to Coon's Dairy in Albury-Wodonga,” he said.

Riverina Fresh is sourced from dedicated farms ranging from Tumut to Finley.


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