Making it Betta in Tasmania

In 1956 a group of dairy farmers from the wild and windswept northwest of Tasmania gathered to talk business. Hard working, generational men of the land, they wanted greater control over the pricing and distribution of their high-quality product. And so, after several days of robust deliberations, the Betta Milk Cooperative was born.

Today, our company remains in the hands of those same farming families. And despite being exposed to the volatile peaks and troughs of an unpredictable primary industry for over 60 years, we have flourished.

Every year we purchase and process over 12 million litres of liquid milk from Tasmanian dairy farms, with every drop destined for prompt distribution throughout the state.

We employ over 70 people in Tasmania and indirectly employ a further 12 people as private vendors to deliver our quality daily milk.

The deregulation of Australia’s Dairy Industry in 1994 gave us an opportunity to spread our wings, establishing Betta Milk depots in Launceston and Hobart. But we remain firmly and proudly based in Burnie.

Deregulation also presented an opportunity for Betta Milk to creatively expand our business footprint, and so in 1999 we took the rather unusual step of establishing a single malt whisky distillery on land adjacent to our milk factory. Today Hellyers Road Distillery is the country’s biggest selling locally crafted whisky and winner of numerous national and international awards. With a distribution footprint that extends to over 20 European countries and Japan, the decision to invest in a whisky distillery was a visionary one.

We also believe in investing in our state. Betta Milk supports a wide range of events around Tasmania, many of which reflect our desire to promote healthy community activities. These include the Give Me Five for Kids Appeal which raises valuable funds for the children’s wards of Tasmania’s hospitals, the Tasmanian Community Achievement Awards – major sponsor of the Health Achievement category, up-and-coming junior athlete Jack Hale, and the nationally acclaimed Burnie Ten road race.

A true Tasmanian business success, the Betta Milk story is one of risk and reward. From the canny dairy farmers who backed their judgment and their bank balances in 1956, to the board members and shareholders who showed similar steel to invest large sums into establishing a whisky distillery, Betta Milk continues to be proudly Tasmanian owned, operated and respected.