On October 25, 2012, Mount Compass dairy farmer and member of parliament Robert Brokenshire hosted what turned out to be a formative meeting at Parliament House in Adelaide. It brought together Coles Chief Operating Officer, John Durkan (then head of merchandising) and then SADA chief executive officer Ken Lyons to talk about whether there were any opportunities for Coles and the SA dairy industry to work together. Lyons suggested creating a regional milk brand, similar to the Great Ocean Road label packaged exclusively for Coles supermarkets in western Victoria by Warrnambool Cheese and Butter. Durkan thought the idea worth investigating and agreed to further discussions.
After working through all the practical issues involved in creating, packaging and distributing a new milk brand, SADA’s senior management and board decided that the best approach would be to work in conjunction with an established manufacturer, with facilities in South Australia. SADA then engaged local design and advertising house, Adlab, to create the new label, SADA Fresh. It was launched 12 months to the day after that breakthrough meeting at Parliament House.
How the venture works
Under a special licensing agreement, SADA Fresh milk is packaged and distributed by major dairy foods company Parmalat Australia at its plant in Clarence Gardens. Parmalat has guaranteed that it will be made only from South Australian milk, sourced by the company.
Under the licensing agreement, Parmalat pays SADA 20 cents per litre (40 cents per container) for every litre sold.
SADA Fresh is currently sold through Coles supermarkets across South Australia. However, there is potential to make the brand available through other retailers, depending on its success and consumer demand. There is also potential to expand the range into other dairy products which may be licensed to other manufacturers.
The recommended retail price of the milk is similar to other mainstream brands available in South Australian supermarkets.