Riverina Fresh will soon serve its milk in State Parliament in a move by the government to show its support for local farmers.
The move comes after 2GB journalist Ben Fordham notified NSW Legislative Assembly Speaker Shelley Hancock last week that parliament was serving milk by a Victorian producer.
Ms Hancock announced the changes on Tuesday.
With nearly a century of history, Riverina Fresh will have its milk served in parliament on August 20.
Riverina Fresh CEO Robert Collier said the collaboration with parliament was a “positive story for the farming community doing it tough in this drought crisis”.
“It doesn't solve anything in isolation, but it sends the signal of support,” he said.
“Sometimes it's an issue like droughts that help people look at things more strategically.
“The drought is a hard task for us, governments and industry bodies to solve, but our farmers are buoyant by this news.”
The drought is a hard task for us, governments and industry bodies to solve, but our farmers are buoyant by this news.Robert Collier, CEO of Riverina Fresh
The milk-supply contract offered to Riverina Fresh and other business-related matters are currently being finalised.
Mr Collier said the process “moved very quickly”.
“We were contacted by State Parliament late Friday afternoon [August 10] and they asked us to submit a proposal,” he said.
“The next morning, they turned around and told us we were successful.”
Mr Collier said the emphasis was on the move being a show of support for local farmers.
Ms Hancock, speaking with Mr Fordham on Tuesday, said she did not know about the arrangements with the Victorian supplier.
“When I did, I moved pretty swiftly on this,” Ms Hancock said.
“It was a pretty complex matter because we’re locked into contracts sometimes – but we’ve resolved it.
“We’ve got house wines from NSW, meat from NSW, pork, fish, oysters, etcetera – surely it’s not too hard to have our milk from NSW.”
She said that with the current drought crisis, there were “no excuses to source things from other states”.
“Having said that, I do appreciate the efforts from other states in assisting us,” she said.
Ms Hancock was reached for further comments but was unavailable.