Sadly, due to funding restrictions and the protracted process of having to apply for ACCC authorisation, our current full-time marketing and communications manager, Sarah Ferguson, will leave QDO at the end of her current three-year contract on March 28.
As many will be aware, Sarah has been a driving force behind the development of the Fair Go Dairy® logo scheme which was granted ACCC authorisation for five years on March 12.
She worked with our executive team to develop the strategies that led to the 10 cent Drought Levy being implemented, which to this day continues to financially assist the dairy farmers who supply to Lactalis and Norco, the toll processors for Woolworths' and Coles' private label brands.
She was instrumental in garnering the media support for the protests and agitation that, after our nine-year battle, led to the end of our industry's nemesis - $1/litre milk in 2019.
The Queensland government has been terrific in its support and belief in the logo project, and we would not have got where we are now today without the funding provided over the past three years.
But securing sufficient funding for staff for projects is always a tough battle for not-for-profits, particularly as we continue to battle with the economic fallout from COVID-19.
While the Queensland government continues to support the scheme and QDO with funding, it only allows us enough for a part-time marketing officer.
Sarah has been a tough taskmaster throughout her contract. She's challenged our knowledge of communications and marketing, made us sit up and take more careful note of what our grassroots members are saying and has become a passionate advocate for our dairy industry.
The good news for us all is that Sarah leaves us with a fully fledged strategic plan for the organisation in place and a media and marketing plan developed for the launch of the Fair Go Dairy logo scheme, including a terrific campaign to drive awareness and support from Queensland shoppers.
QDO's project officer, Torie Harrison, is receiving a handover before Sarah's departure and will be your point of contact while we hunt for a suitable part-time candidate to launch and roll out the Fair Go Dairy logo scheme. Please continue to send all correspondence and enquiries regarding the logo and planned activities to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I would personally like to thank Sarah for her passion and drive over the past three years. We all wish her the absolute best in her future roles wherever they may be. I think any organisation would be lucky to have her.