Across the Tasman, dairy co-operatives are a dying breed.

With the passing of what was Australia's biggest co-op, Murray Goulburn, to Canada's Saputo, they now account for less than 5 per cent of the milk pool there.

Closer to home, the sale of troubled Westland Milk to China's Yili leaves just two co-operatives — Fonterra and Waikato's Tatua.

Fonterra has had its well-publicised problems, so does that mean the dairy co-operative model is on its way out?

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Rabobank senior dairy analyst Michael Harvey doesn't think so.

Melbourne-based Harvey says co-ops still play an important role in the world's dairy sector.

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