From despair to hipster staple_ Meredith Dairy’s sustainability drive

Meredith Dairy, the nation’s largest sheep and goat dairy, resides proof that thriving, sustainable companies can generally emerge from the depths of despair.

Within the early Nineteen Nineties, the abolition of the reserve wool worth flipped the sheep business from relative prosperity into chaos, forcing merino farmers Julie and Sandy Cameron to cull the animals that they had anticipated to nurture.

Nevertheless, an opportunity dialog in 1991 with a household good friend, cheesemaker Richard Thomas, set them on an unlikely course.

“On the time we have been compelled to shoot sheep and bury them as a result of they have been nugatory and our revenue had disappeared,” Ms Cameron mentioned.

“We felt we needed to transfer away from producing commodity merchandise so we may have some say within the returns of our produce.

“Richard instructed us we already had the sheep and that the very best cheese on the planet was constructed from sheep milk.

“After all, he was speaking a couple of high-end blue cheese (Roquefort) made within the south of France, however 32 years down the observe we’re milking each sheep and goats and making a spread of specialist merchandise.”

Meredith Dairy has advanced into a posh, vertically built-in enterprise, rising fodder and grains and prime lamb and goat meat, along with the dairy enterprise.

The milk comes from eight dairy farms, 5 of that are positioned inside the primary farm boundary in Meredith, 120kms west of Melbourne.

Dairy merchandise, together with a spread of marinated and contemporary goat cheeses, in addition to contemporary goat cheeses and sheep and goat-milk yoghurts, are all made in a purpose-built facility and freighted to a warehouse earlier than promoting regionally and offshore.

The Meredith Dairy marinated goat cheese has enhanced the nation’s brunch staple of smashed avocado, with its gentle cubes of cheese blended in additional virgin olive oil, peppercorns, contemporary thyme and garlic.

City fable or not, the recognition of goat cheese amongst city hipsters has helped underwrite Meredith Dairy’s 5-7 per cent annual income progress.

The corporate’s emphasis on sustainability has now prolonged throughout its operations, from intensive tree-planting and biodiversity safety to utilizing manure from their animals to fertilise the cropping land and drawing on renewable power for meals manufacturing.

Dairies usually devour a major quantity of electrical energy, gasoline and transport fuels, that are used for heating, cooling and lighting in addition to the operation of plant and gear.

Meredith Dairy has due to this fact taken steps to chop its reliance on coal-fired electrical energy, gasoline and diesel.

It invested in photo voltaic scorching water, and an LNG boiler was changed with a biomass-fuelled boiler which is fed with woodchips generated from waste timber on the farm.

This was half of a bigger, $310,000 improve of the dairy’s scorching water methods.

Gasoline from burning woodchips now fires a renewable power plant supplying 70 per cent of the amenities’ electrical energy, with additional energy harvested from 100Kw of photo voltaic panels.

Ms Cameron mentioned the dairy merchandise have been now produced with 100 per cent renewable power.

Power consumption, nonetheless, was just one side of the enterprise’s greenhouse gasoline emissions.

Correct and scientific measurement of methane from the cattle was nonetheless required to find out the general carbon footprint, and power is a major enter in glass packaging.

Meredith Dairy quickly hopes to make use of 100 per cent recycled packaging, ideally backed by renewable power, up from the present stage of 70 per cent.

“It’s complicated – we’re vertically built-in with a big land holding so we are able to sequester a major quantity of carbon however our animals produce methane,” Ms Cameron mentioned.