The Riverina Fresh brand is ticking all the boxes for local Wodonga based distributors Coon’s Dairy.
Owner Linda Coon said since the closure of the Murray Goulburn (MG) factory in May this year Riverina Fresh had been very supportive and willing to develop products to fill gaps left in the market.
“When they announced the closure of the local factory, I had no choice but to find a new milk supplier. I couldn’t wait the three months it took MG to announce they had sold the Kiewa brand,” she said.
“I really wanted a high quality milk and a product produced as locally as I could find. Riverina Fresh ticked both these boxes.
“I also wanted a coffee milk to be developed that the area would relate to and Border Blend does that. I have been dealing with Riverina Fresh for years so it was an easy transition to make. Riverina Fresh understand what it takes to make great quality milk from local farms. They have been fantastic to work with from our perspective.”
Linda said she was aware the Kiewa brand was making it back onto shelves since being purchased recently by a Kyabram company but hoped that locals would continue to support the Riverina Fresh product.
“Unfortunately the new Kiewa milk product isn’t being distributed by locals and its not made locally. It’s no longer the local brand that we all grew up with. We are hoping the people of Albury-Wodonga will continue to support us – their local distributor.
“We have employed numerous local people over many years. At present we have a fantastic group of employees who have also experienced the changes and challenges that have occurred this year. They have done this with poise and understanding and we’d like them to be able to stay with us.”
Linda said the distribution business KW and S Coon had been established in 1985 with three full time drivers, one office person and her Mum and Dad.
“We have always been located at 1 Hovell Street, Wodonga. When we started in 1985 we did both retail and home deliveries. Dad would pick me up after school and I would help him finish the run.”
She said growing up she would be at work after school, weekends and school holidays.
She reflected on the day of the MG closure announcement.
“Personally it was one of the hardest and most emotional days I have ever experienced in business. My main aim the day after was to get through it without crying. That was the first of many emotional days and times.
“Riverina Fresh has now been accepted in the market as a great milk and it is fantastic to see the community get behind us in delivering such a wonderful product.”