AS THE MAJOR milk processors continue to squeeze farmers, another group has decided to go it alone with their own brand.
The Cochrane family, which runs about 800 cows in the Mary Valley, plus owns cattle properties and Gympie Regional Real Estate, has negotiated a purchase of the Kenilworth Cheese Factory.
This was originally a facility developed and run by Kraft Foods until it was to be closed, and was bought by a local consortium 30 years ago.
It has made a name making specialty cheeses in the Mary Valley town as well as being a tourist attraction.
Cochrane plan to establish a milk processing line in the facility to develop their own brand of milk, joining Eumundi and Cooloola Milk, also produced in the dairy region.
John Cochrane is also chair of Premium Milk Suppliers, which is in dispute with Parmalat over milk supply contracts.
The new contracts, due to start last January, are still not completed, leaving the biggest group of dairy farmers in Queensland without certainty.