Pure gold: Big River Milk bucking the trend
WHILE dairy farmers across Australia are feeling the financial pressures of a fluctuating industry, one Clarence Valley brand has high hopes for the future.
Just last week, locally-produced Big River Milk took out four medals at the Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show.
Its homogenised milk and pure cream both scored gold medals, while its non-homogenised milk took home a silver and its skimmed milk was recognised with a bronze.
The results are the latest in a long line of accolades and Local Farm Fresh director Peter Watt said it affirmed the Southgate-based dairy company was on the right path.
"We have found sales steadily increasing, but would love to see a bit more," he said.
"It's very hard for us to compete against inferior products that are sold at $2, but it just goes to show that we can pick up market share by producing a quality product."
Sadly, it's the cheaper product that many dairy farmers are losing out on.
On Tuesday night, The Project's Waleed Aly issued a "call to arms" urging people to choose independent dairy over major players Fonterra and Murray Goulburn, following cuts to milk solid prices by major companies which have resulted in their farmers being paid less for their product than it costs to make.
"I thought his spiel was great, he was bang on," Mr Watt said.
"It's very disappointing to think all these middle men are milking the farmers dry. It's one of the reasons Big River Milk was set up; to avoid being part of that machine and having some control over the business."
Mr Watt urged people to support independent dairy farmers wherever possible, both at home and in cafes.
"People should be asking the question of coffee shop owners, where does your milk come from?" he said.
"It doesn't matter who, but are they supporting local farmers?"