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Dairy

In 1889 the first North Coast co-operative dairy factory was built at Wollongbar near Lismore, on the property of Edwin Secombe.

The North Coast Fresh Food and Cold Storage Co-operative Pty Ltd built its first butter factory at Byron Bay in 1894. This unwieldy title was replaced in 1904 by the North Coast Co-operative Ltd, and in 1925 further shortened to Norco. The factory was strategically placed near the growing port facilities at Byron Bay used by coastal steamers. Only a few months after the butter factory began operations, the railway line connecting Lismore, Bangalow, Byron Bay, Mullumbimby and Murwillumbah opened, giving dairy farmers in the Tweed Valley direct access to markets.

The first butter factory in Murwillumbah was established by the Tweed Butter Company in 1897, with Isaac McIlrath as Manager. The Tweed Butter Company became the Tweed River Co-Operative Butter Company in 1905, and later merged with Norco, in 1930. The value of the dairy industry was so great in the area that it was able to support both co-operatives for 25 years.

Explore the tabs on the left to discover more about the Tweed Valley's dairy history.
Last Updated: 12 April 2017