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Fonterra has announced plans to make it easier for more dairy farmers to get into their own farms by extending its MyMilk initiative to the North Island.

MyMilk is a Fonterra-backed company that's helping young and new farmers establish a foothold in the industry and ultimately take a stake in the co-op.

First launched in 2014 in the South Island, MyMilk quickly gained traction, with more than 145 dairy farmers involved over that time across Southland, Otago and Canterbury.

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MyMilk was based on a strong belief that the co-operative model was the best fit for New Zealand farmers and offered farmers the ability to supply milk for up to five seasons without a requirement to purchase shares in Fonterra.

MyMilk farmers were still required to meet the same supply terms and conditions as Fonterra shareholders in regards to milk quality, safety and sustainability. They also had access to many of the tools and services offered by the co-op.

Listen below:

Fonterra was extending MyMilk across the North Island to allow more farmers, especially young farmers, the chance to purchase their own farm and join the co-op. Existing farmers in the co-op could utilise the initiative to grow through purchasing another Fonterra farm.

"We're in an environment now where we've got to look for ways to help our farmers with their succession ... to bring new farmers and young farmers into the industry and really help our existing farmers with their growth" Group Director of Farm Source, Richard Allen told The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum.

For young Southland farmers Don and Jess Moore, MyMilk had opened up an opportunity that was once beyond their reach.

"We've always wanted to be Fonterra suppliers. It's been awesome to have the opportunity that MyMilk gives us by providing a pathway through stepping from share-milking to farm ownership. MyMilk is an opportunity to keep growing and stay with the co-op, and we're delighted more farming families will be given that chance" said Don Moore.

MyMilk will be available in the North Island for supply from June 1, 2020. Eligibility conditions applied and MyMilk volumes were limited to 5 per cent of Fonterra's total milk collections.

Find out about MyMilk more at www.mymilk.co.nz.

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Also in today's interview: Allen talked about how Fonterra had been impacted by the Australian bushfires and how the co-op was being represented at the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards this year.