A focus on family values and delivering on promises is helping Colac company Bulla Dairy Foods keep its business strong.
Chief executive officer Allan Hood, speaking at a Sungold Field Days dinner, said the family-owned business was "bucking the trend" in the dairy industry and maintaining strong growth despite the challenging times in the industry.
"As much as we can we are trying to bring some growth and sustainability back into the industry," Mr Hood said.
"Bulla is a proud Colac business with 550 of our 750 staff members still in the town. Colac is our heartland, we have been around for 110 years.
"We have to have a sustainable dairy industry, and a sustainable family business, it's the same for our suppliers who are all family businesses as well.
"The secret to our success is to keep Bulla a family business grounded in family values."
Two-thirds of Bulla's supply comes from farmers in the south-west and the company is looking to grow this footprint.
"We have some milk come from the east and north (of Victoria) but predominantly it comes from the south-west," he said.
"This is our heartland and we are looking to grow this supply as our business grows.
"Hopefully with a good season and strong prices, that will encourage stability and growth and further reinvestment.
"We have gone into direct milk supply and that helps up build a stronger relationship with our farmers.
"The industry is going through some challenging times, but we have a consistent approach and a simple model for our farmers.
"We promised our farmers we would open (our price) early and open strong, and we will continue to do this. We have a simple model and a flat price.
"The feedback we get from our farmers is they want honesty, simplicity and transparency and we try to do that as much as possible.
"We have great people, an amazing culture and really open and honest relationships with our customers and our suppliers."
With the launch of their new Murray Street premium icecream label, Mr Hood said Bulla was primed to build its international profile.
"Bulla is predominantly Australian-focused, but we are now growing in international markets especially Hong Kong, Singapore and China.
"The opportunities internationally are exciting and we are keen to see what they unlock, but they remain a small part of our business."
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