Organic and unhomogenised milk directory
While supermarkets compete over the price of milk, farmers step out of the ring and compete with quality.
Ever since dairy deregulation, farmers have been able to bottle their own milk. And due to the milk war, many more have begun. But they're not just creating a product—it’s a matter of survival.
Farmers can’t afford to produce milk selling at unsustainable prices.
Coles began the milk war on Australia Day in 2011, pricing its private label milk at $1 per litre. The result? Farmers received lower farm gate prices, and over 140 Queensland dairy farmers left the industry. In contrast, Coles reported record profits and its CEO receives $15 million annually.
Woolworths followed suit, reducing the price of their milk, and suggested their hand was forced. They even created a new brand, stamped with the faces of local dairy farmers. Is this milk good and fair? Ask yourself, who owns the trademark and processor? Where is the milk distributed? During contract renewal, are the farmers replaceable? So who wields the power? Woolworths are crying crocodile tears while milking private label profits.
Next time you're at the supermarket, take a look at the dairy shelf. You'll see a cacophony of brands, manufactured by only four multinational corporations: Fonterra (New Zealand), Kirin (Japan), Lactalis (France) and Saputo (Canada). While the packaging spruiks health claims, the contents are often sugar-rich, and taste like disappointment.
So you see there’s much more to farmhouse milk than deliciousness—although it really is! Say goodbye to mediocre and say hello to flavour! Because more people are discovering milk from small, local dairies, as time passes, more farmers will join.
We'll win the battle and the milk war!
My tip? For distinctive flavour, seek unhomogenised milk, pasteurised at a low temperature, from a single farm. For creaminess, choose a Jersey or Guernsey herd. For a better world, support those who cultivate rich soil, minimise plastic and prioritise animal welfare.
Look for these brands at farmers’ markets and local independent stores near you. Taste the difference and tell your friends!
Bodalla Dairy, Bodalla
The milk from Robert and Sandra McCuaig’s herd is unhomogenized, and bottled in returnable glass bottles. The milk is pasteurised at the 63.1 degrees—the lowest legally permissible temperature in NSW. Tip from Old Mill Road BioFarm.
Country Valley, Picton
The Fairleys run a herd of up to 145 Friesian / Jersey cattle at Picton. Five other local farms supply, as well as an organic farm in Nowra and Hannam Vale. The full cream milk also available unhomogenised.
Highland Organics, Moss Vale
Bill and Jacqui Smillie run Holstein and Brown Swiss cows on their organic farms in Nowra and Moss Vale. A long-time cheese producer, they released an unhomogenised milk brand in 2012.
Hunter Belle, Scone
Brown Swiss milk is used exclusively and sourced fresh from a local farm at Singleton. The milk is delivered to the factory owned and operated by Jason and Annie Chesworth for processing; the milk is unhomogenised.
Kyogle Milk, Lynch's Creek
Shane Hickey and Julia Curtis milk their small Jersey-cross herd in the morning, pasteurise the milk at a low temperature, and bottle it in glass. Their range includes unhomogenised milk. A point of difference: after the calves are returned to the cows, and they spend the day together.
Little Big Dairy Co, Macquarie River
Steve and Sue Chesworth run a herd of 800 purebred Holsteins, and milk them three times each day. The milk comes from their herd only; the full cream milk is available bottled in glass.
Mother Cow Dairy, Brighton
According to Hinduism, cows are considered sacred. A group of Victorian devotees located a dairy farmer with a herd of under 100. Every cow or bullock on the dairy is cared for during their entire lifecycle, whether they are producing milk or otherwise. The farm is organic in conversion.
Over the Moon, Glen William
Karl and Cathie Johnson process milk sourced from the Williams and Mathers' dairy farms. The full cream milk is unhomogenised and bottled in the old-fashioned way, one small batch at a time. In 2016 he was paying 70 cents per litre, significantly higher than most processors.
Peel Valley Milk, Tamworth
Todd and Sarah Wilson milk their Jersey cows in Wallamore, then they truck the milk to the factory located on the flats of Peel River in Tamworth. The full cream milk is available unhomogenised under the ‘gold-top’ label. Tip from th3littleredhen.
The Pines, Kiama
Mahlah and Kel Grey, along with Kel’s father Garry, own and run the dairy farm. The herd of 18 Holstein cows graze chemical-free pastures. Sustainably grown hay and grain is supplementary feed. The unhomogenised full cream milk is batch pasteurised.
South Coast Dairy, South Coast
The Berry Rural Co-operative comprising 16 farms aims to supply fresh and high quality dairy products to the local market. The herds are mostly comprised of Friesians, with Jerseys and Red Australian Illawarras in the mix.
Tilba Real Dairy, Tilba
Erica and Nic Dibden broke free from the major processors, now selling their purebred Jersey milk through independent stores and farmers markets. “Every dollar spent is a dollar spent in the local community that goes back to producing the local product and employing the staff.” They source some milk from a Jersey herd in the Cobargo area. Tip from Old Mill Road BioFarm.
Udder Farm, Hunter Valley
Glenn Haines, his wife Helen and their two sons milk the cows twice daily at Lochinvar, in the Hunter Valley. They bottle the milk two to three times a week depending on demand. The Jersey unhomogenised milk is available in a glass bottle.
Other milk: Norco organic milk is supplied by the Eggerts, based in Redbank, and another dairy in Hannam Vale.