Fonterra Australia has signalled a significant change in its relationship with farmers with the launch of Farm Source in Australia – a comprehensive package of tools and services to assist farmers with farm business management.
Speaking at the launch of Farm Source at the Australian Dairy Conference in Melbourne, Mr René Dedoncker, Managing Director of Fonterra Australia, said that Farm Source is designed to be a whole new way of working with farmers.
“We’ve been talking to our farmers a lot about what we can do to further support them and their businesses. Through these discussions, we’ve extended Farm Source, a global initiative which we’ve tailored uniquely for Australian farmers.
“While we’ve been providing a range of on-farm services over the years, with Farm Source we’re accelerating that to deliver better, faster and easier-to-use tools and services that will provide real tangible benefits to our farmers.
“For instance, to assist with on-farm profitability, Farm Source Digital will allow farmers to monitor their farm operations, manage finances or run their own income estimates for a full 12 months, with the ability to adjust according to production and composition changes on their farm. It can be easily done from anywhere, on almost any device including mobile, computer or tablet.”
Continuing to evolve over time, Farm Source will provide greater levels of service, information, support, financial options and discounts to help improve on-farm profitability and business management.
Leongatha share farmer, Tim Kooloos, has been trialling Farm Source Digital for some time now, and says that it is already changing the way he runs his business.
“The online tools help me make better and more informed decisions about my business, by giving me the ability to do my own income estimates and run different milk price and production scenarios.
“I can also now more easily share information about my farm with my consultants – whether it’s my accountant, bank manager, or the farm owner. These digital tools not only help me, but it makes life easier for everyone who relies on this information to help me run my business.”
Mr Kooloos also said he’s excited by what is to come, including Farm Source Service.
“Having access to a 24/7 service centre to help tackle any issues that arise, any time of the day or night will let me get on with the job of running my business. The fact that it will be staffed by people who understand my business gives me peace of mind that my problems will be addressed quickly and efficiently.”
Mr Dedoncker said that the launch of Farm Source is another way Fonterra is growing its partnership with its farmers.
“At Fonterra, we’re optimistic about the future of dairy. Demand for high-quality dairy is growing, and there are great opportunities for our business and farmers.
“However we cannot meet this global demand without our farmers and their milk. Farm Source is all about using Fonterra’s scale to provide the level of service our farmers deserve, so that we all benefit,” concluded Mr Dedoncker.
Continuing to grow and evolve over time, some elements are available now, while other services are scheduled over the coming months.
Farmers will have immediate access to the following tools and services:
* Farm Source Digital – online, on your mobile, and on-the-go, an easy-to-use online platform where farmers can get up-to-the-minute information to help manage their business and better plan.
* Farm Source Partners – leverages Fonterra’s scale to provide deals and savings for a range of input costs. For example, farmers can get a special price on a BT-50 from Penfold Mazda, or a lower electricity bill by letting Fonterra shop around for the best power deal. More special rates will become available over time.
Additional services will come online by mid-2018:
* Farm Source Service – a 24/7 service centre to solve problems quickly and efficiently, staffed by people who understand Fonterra’s dairy regions.
* Farm Source Professional – a tailored on-farm advisory service covering topics such as finance, HR management, agronomy, animal nutrition, and energy efficiency.
* Farm Source Finances – marketing intelligence, price risk management offerings and cash flow assistance to help farmers to manage their day-to-day financial risks.