• Together we make the Difference

Together we make the Difference

farmers on farm with cows co-operative difference
What's The Co-operative Difference?

The Co-operative Difference launched in 2019; it’s our framework for ensuring that our on-farm practices support the achievement of our strategy.

The aim is to ensure that you have the opportunity to adapt to changes at a pace that works for you and your business. 

Our Terms of Supply

Our Terms of Supply sets the current standards for the Co-operative that ensures we meet the expectations of our customers, communities and regulators. It’s our Terms of Supply, Farm Dairy Assessment, Farm Dairy Records and our Performance Management System that supports the farmer and protects the Co-op when things don’t go to plan. 

The Co-operative Difference Payment​

The Co-operative Difference Payment is about​ getting ready for emerging issues that are either opportunities to create new value and/or risks to existing value. The Co-operative Difference Payment recognises those farmers who have already made changes and encourages every other member of the Co-op to follow.

Our Future Direction

Our Future Direction looks to the longer term; providing guidance on what the future might look like based on what we know from our markets, communities and regulatory agencies.

The Co-operative Difference Payment

From 1 June 2021, we changed the way farmers are paid for their milk through the introduction of a new milk payment parameter.

This sees a proportion of your milk payment influenced by your progress under Our Next Steps, initially by up to 10 cents per kgMS. Getting the best returns is determined by our ability to access opportunities, markets, and premium prices. It is also important that the wider community value our role and our approach to farming, animal wellbeing and guardianship of the land, so that dairy farming is seen as an attractive and respected career choice for future generations. This means staying at the forefront of issues such as quality, safety and sustainability.

How The Co-operative Difference Payment works

Farms that sustainably produce higher quality milk help to increase the value of all our milk. That’s why The Co-operative Difference Payment has been introduced.

This meant a new milk payment parameter was introduced to implement the payment. Milk payment parameters are used to determine the value of a farm’s milk to the Co-operative and can result in each farm being paid slightly differently per milk solid, relative to the Co-operative average.

These parameters currently include the fat and protein composition of the milk, the volume, and now achievement of Te Pūtake and Te Puku under The Co-operative Difference. 

The Co-operative Difference Payment is made at the end of the year in the final retro payment.

How do I reach Te Pūtake?

Achievement of Te Pūtake is the first step in the journey and is all about looking after our people, animals, environment and Co-op. You’ll need to meet the achievements in each of the focus areas below. Click the ‘read more’ link on each of the focus areas to learn more about what this involves.

When you reach Te Pūtake, you’ll receive 7 cents per kgMS on base price for all milk supplied during the season.

Co-op and Prosperity
People and Community
How do I reach Te Puku and Te Tihi?

For farms that meet Te Pūtake, the next steps are Te Puku and then Te Tihi. These are all about the quality of the milk that you provide to the Co-op.

To achieve Te Puku, you’ll need to achieve Milk Quality Excellence on at least 30 days during the season. These can be any 30 days; they don’t need to be consecutive.

You’ll then receive an additional 3 cents for every kgMS supplied during the season that meets the Excellence standard. This payment is in addition to the base price, and the Te Pūtake component of the Co-operative Difference payment.

Te Tihi is about celebrating those in the Co-operative who consistently deliver the highest quality milk. To achieve Te Tihi, a minimum of 90% of the days that you supply milk during the season must be at the Excellence standard. There is no additional payment for Te Tihi, it is simply about recognising those at the top of their game.

Watch the Milk Excellence video

Milk Excellence Fact Sheet

Watch the Milk Quality video

Milk Quality Fact Sheet

Find out more

Here you will find a series of videos so you can learn more about The Co-operative Difference.

The Co-operative Difference

1: minute watch

Our Next Steps - The Journey

3: minute watch

How the Co-operative Difference Payment works

4: minute watch

The Co-op & Prosperity Achievement

2: minute watch

The Environment Achievement video

5: minute watch

The Animals Achievement video

2: minute watch

The People & Community Achievement

3: minute watch

Milk Excellence and how to achieve Te Puku and Te Tihi

3: minute watch

The Milk Quality Framework video

3: minute watch

How to get more information or support

We want to help you Make the Difference. If you want to talk about The Co-operative Difference or any of the changes, get in touch with the Farm Source team.

Service Centre
0800 65 65 68


Ready to get started?

Head over to the Farm Source website to tell us how you are tracking.