Farm launches branded milk

01 May, 2018 04:00 PM
Comments
0
 
... the business almost “broke” during the supermarkets’ $1 milk crisis.

FOUR weeks ago more than three years of planning came to fruition for Dale and Paula Fortescue, Eungelladale, Eungella, Qld, when they launched their own branded milk.

With a processing plant on farm, Mr Fortescue’s daily work begins at 4.45am for milking, and now includes pasteurising the milk, bottling the milk, and the second round of milking – plus local deliveries and all the paperwork that goes with the business.

He said he would not have it any other way though – after the business almost “broke” during the supermarkets’ $1 milk crisis, which impacted so much of the dairy industry.

The Fortescues run about 120 Friesian, Jersey/Friesians, and pure Jersey milkers on 60 hectares in Eungella, 90km west of Mackay, plus another 40ha of leased country in the region for their dry cows and young heifers.

Mr Fortescue grew up on a dairy farm and said he came back to the profession after what he called a “midlife crisis”.

”At that time the dairy industry was doing relatively well, they were getting reasonable money for their milk,” he said.

“That lasted for about five years and then through the cheap milk with Coles it was almost the end of dairy really – it made it hard to keep going.”

Mr Fortescue said the business was in dire circumstances when they turned to crowdfunding and the local community to get the factory off the ground.

Even now, four weeks into producing about 500 bottles of milk per day, there are plenty of improvements that need to be made – including a labelling machine.

Currently, Mr Fortescue's father is labelling every bottle by hand.

“A lot of things are manual and need to be automated but you have to crawl before you can walk,” Mr Fortescue said.

“Nearly every bit of milk I’m producing is going in the bottle at the moment.

“It started off sort of slow; we were just happy to get there.

"We were squashing a lot of bottles going through the machines, my wife had to take some chill pills, but it has been a good learning curve.”

The milk is being distributed by the local arm of Bidfood.

“It’s a big thing off our shoulders because we didn’t know how I was going to milk, bottle, and deliver all on the same day,” he said.

Mr Fortescue's end goal for the operation is to open a cheese factory, which he hopes to turn into a tourist attraction.

The factory will also be built at Eungelladale, which is conveniently located next to one of Eungella’s free camping and parking areas.

NQR

POST A COMMENT


Screen name *
Email address *
Remember me?
Comment *
 
DATA driven quality performance indicators are helping Hans and Kerrin van Wees and Jakob Malmo to achieve high production from a pasture-based dairy system in Gippsland, Victoria. 
03 Apr 18 DATA driven quality performance indicators are helping Hans and Kerrin van Wees and Jakob Malmo to achieve high...
Seed is the most important input into any crop or pasture that is sown.03 Apr 18 Seed is the most important input into any crop or pasture that is sown.
light grey arrow
Why does Adam insist on doing the biding of the processors? That is their line and he has
light grey arrow
The dairy industry is unnatural, unhealthy and extremely cruel.
light grey arrow
The solution is simple - the wheel base width at the rear axle needs to be extended 25cm on
Advertiser content for McLanahan
WITH a passion for innovation and their usual focus on products that are robust and reliable, global supplier McLanahan Corporation, has released a complete system for managing pasture based livestock effluent.02 May 18 Advertiser content for McLanahan WITH a passion for innovation and their usual focus on products that are robust...
Like a lot of dairyfarmers, Steven and Leanne Wieland's Boonah, Qld, business has grown in the past decade.13 Feb 18 Like a lot of dairyfarmers, Steven and Leanne Wieland's Boonah, Qld, business has grown in the past decade.
Australian farm chemical manufacturer Nufarm has repaired its balance sheet and is now hunting for acquisition opportunities.25 Sep 16 Australian farm chemical manufacturer Nufarm has repaired its balance sheet and is now hunting for acquisition...
Monopoly market may confront cropping sector under mega-merger proposal.22 Sep 16 Monopoly market may confront cropping sector under mega-merger proposal.