Doblo donates milk profits to farmers

IN A BID to help drought-stricken farmers, Rockhampton fruit king Dominic Doblo is selling local Central Queensland milk and donating all of his profits back to the farmer owned co-operative.

Doblo started stocking the milk this month after customers had been asking for him to sell the Central Queensland Dairy Fresh products at his shop, Doblo’s Farmers Markets.

Speaking with the farmer, Mr Doblo asked how they were going and they said the drought was really affecting them.

This stuck with Mr Doblo and he decided he would give them all of his profits from sale of the milk.

Instead of paying just the cost price, Mr Doblo is giving them the whole amount (retailed for $3.99) from his sales.

In the first week, he sold 400 bottles and is hoping that number will rise in the coming weeks.

“While the drought is on I will pay her the full amount, if I can get it up to 1000 bottles a week, that's an extra $700 a week income to help them get through the drought,” he said.

“That is what I am prepared to do to save the dairy industry in this area, another one in Eungella shut last year, it’s sad, we don’t want any more shutting down.”

Doblos has local milk on sale
Doblos has local milk on sale

He likened drought to a “slow growing natural disaster like a cancer” and doesn’t want to see the local dairy industry lost because of it.

“Once you start transporting milk from Victoria, the added cost of the freight is horrendous,” he said.

“Or if we start importing it from overseas, it will become unaffordable for the average person just like electricity has become unaffordable for people.

Mr Doblo would also like to see other businesses jump on board.

“In Rockhampton we might be able to get up to 5000 bottles a week which is $3500 a week income for the dairy farmers,” he said.

When asked what their co-op’s reaction was when he gave them more money than he was invoiced, Mr Doblo said they “dumbfounded”.

Boyne Valley dairy farmer Leonie Paish said she was “certainly overwhelmed” when Mr Doblo made the offer.

The extra money is being used to feed the cattle.

Ms Paish said “it was very grim on the home front” and they have nothing to feed the cattle.

“We have a few bales of hay for the dry herd and some irrigation that we can feed some of the milkers on but it’s not nearly enough,” she said.

Hay is too expensive to buy, which isn’t the fault of the hay farmers as their costs have risen.

“I can’t say how much I appreciate the offer he has made to us,” she said. “It would just be outstanding if anyone else did it as well.”