They led the call to back independent dairy farmers in the wake of price wars, celebrated 10 years and opened a new factory – and now Fleurieu Milk Company has capped off an impressive year with a prestigious award win in the 2016 South Australian Food Industry Awards Program.
The much-loved Myponga-based boutique dairy company took out the Thomas Foods International Primary Producer Award at the celebration gala dinner at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Friday, November 25, 2016.
The company joined some 50 finalists across 14 categories vying for top honours, its Primary Producer Award recognising an establishment that has demonstrated excellence in the sustainable production of safe, high quality food and contributed towards the positive profile of agribusiness.
Accepting the awards, General Manager Nick Hutchinson particularly thanked the people of South Australia for supporting Fleurieu Milk Company at a time when the independent dairy farmers needed it most.
“This has been a huge year for not only us but our industry as we independent dairy farmers have banded together to fight this year’s price cuts imposed by major dairy producers,” he said.
“The support we have received is most humbling and is further proof that Australians are increasingly getting behind local primary producers and their products.
“We thank you – and the panel of independent judges who honoured us with the respected Primary Producer Award – for buying our milk, cream and yoghurt all year, in what has been the biggest year in our 10-year history.”
In May, Fleurieu Milk Company hailed the power of Australians in the fight for a fair go for the nation’s independent dairy farmers following strong support across the State. This saw a sales spike of some 30 per cent, taking weekly sales from 93,500 litres to 125,000 litres and adding two new local farmers to the four the company traditionally purchases from.
The company celebrated its 10th birthday a month later, having been established by three dairy farming families in the wake of a 2002 South Australian milk price squeeze that threatened their survival.
Fleurieu Milk Company is currently undergoing a $600,000 expansion to increase storage space, create new offices and boardrooms and introduce door sales. It has also just signed a contract with Australian Fine Foods to make its yoghurts available to 24 countries around the world.
Photo: Fleurieu Milk & Yoghurt Company, Fleurieu Peninsula, Photographer: Amanda Davenport, 2015, Flavours of South Australia