It’s more than milking cows and making butter!


In 1970, the Beatles split, flared jeans were in, and Adrian Wells rocked up to site for his first day on the job.

That’s right – you didn’t read that wrong, Adrian has spent half a century in dairy, and if you ask his colleagues he is “enthusiastic and passionate as ever.”

Adrian is our longest serving employee in Australia and is in the Top 5 across the whole Co-op – out of 22,000 employees that is an incredible effort.

Dairy has always been a big part of Adrian’s life. His grandparents owned a farm in Myalla, just West of Wynyard, and his Dad drove milk tankers for North Western Dairy, which later became United Milk Tasmania (UMT) where he first started working.

Adrian’s earliest memory of dairy is going on weekend milk runs with his Dad, where he would often wander through the factory while his Dad unloaded the tanker (of course, this was allowed in those days).

From his first role making 25kg boxes for UMT, which later became Bonlac and then Fonterra, he worked his way through various roles in butter making and has been the Butter Supervisor at Spreyton since 1989.

The advice his Dad gave him on his first day on the job - “there will always be milk, there will always be butter, and there will always be a job” – has proven to be true as he hits this incredible 50-year milestone.

During his tenure, he has seen it all.

"For me, the biggest change was the progression of technology and the introduction of control measures. There was no quality control when I first started in the industry, it only started to appear in the late 70s and early 80s - it's now such a huge part of what we do,"  says Adrian.

When asked what advice he would pass on – “the sky is the limit, it’s an industry that’s more than just milking cows and making butter.”

Half a century in dairy - what a milestone!