Do Your Jersey Farmers have a future?
Towards a more Sustainable Local Dairy Industry
Over the past twenty years the number of local dairy farms has shrunk from more than 200 to less than 50, mainly due to low prices paid to farmers. If this doesn’t change then this trend will continue until there are no dairies left in the local area.
Not the end of the world I guess, if you are happy to buy milk that has been trucked up from Southern states and processed by a foreign owned multinational. Due to the distances involved it may even be UHT – at least you would be able to store it for months in the cupboard…
This may sound a bit melodramatic, but it is a distinct possibility.
Here at Misty Mountain Farms we produce unique, pure Jersey Milk that we feel has a strong future, if customers are willing to pay more for it.
We realise it is a difficult time for a change; however it is critical that we do something now to still be here for the future!
To that end we have come up with a three-pronged strategy, whereby with your help we can make all aspects of our niche Jersey dairy industry sustainable well into the future.
This will include the farms, the processing and the packaging so we can do our bit for the environment by reducing single use plastic going into land fill.
Our farm suppliers need to be sustainable and to achieve this they simply require a better price per litre for their milk. An additional 10c per litre of milk going to the farmer will help cover their ever increasing farm input costs.
It might even encourage the next generation to stay on the farm rather than looking for work in the city so we can still have fresh milk!
Our dedicated Misty Farmers are up before the crack of dawn every day, in all kinds of weather to milk their beautiful Jersey cows. Then they are back as the sun sets to milk again.
They have made a huge investment in their land and infrastructure and they deserve to make a reasonable living!
Many of our farmers have said that unless the price of milk increases they will get out of Dairy farming and do beef instead as the days are too long for no great return!
We love providing you with the creamy Jersey milk you know and love, which is why we are asking you to support a higher price for our Milk so we can keep our farmers on the land.
Our milk processors also need to be sustainable into the future. Misty Mountains was started and funded by Mungalli Creek to help local farmers that were unable to get a quota with Dairy Farmers have a sustainable future.
Setting up milk processing for any farmer is expensive which is why Mungalli has been subsidizing the Misty milk for the past few years but this can’t go on forever. Misty Mountain Farms has to stand on its own two feet if it is to continue as a brand.
To achieve this our price per litre to customers will increase to ensure Misty Mountain Farmers have a sustainable brand well into the future.
To be sustainable we want a more recyclable bottle that can be recycled multiple times as a milk bottle. Our current bottles are single use, and are unfortunately very expensive as they have to be blown and trucked up from Brisbane. You know that we are all about low food miles yet we are trucking empty bottles some 1700kms!
It was time we found a solution and we have been looking at a whole range of alternatives, that could be:
- Light and user friendly
- Packed on our existing packaging equipment
- Safe without creating quality issues
- Look good and differentiate our products from the cheaper $1 per litre milks.
- Compact so that they can be efficiently transported from southern states.
The best option that we found with our current machinery was an alternate type of plastic packaging called PET. PET is recyclable in Australia, light and safe, works on our existing packaging equipment and can actually be recycled up to 6 times for use as milk bottles as rPET.
Best of all these bottles can be transported as a tiny tube and blown on site which is beneficial in far north Queensland where freight costs can be huge. The only challenge we could see was that a 1.5 litre bottle was the biggest our blow moulder could blow due to power capacity restrictions in our rural farm location.
The change from the 2L & 1L HDPE bottle to the new PET 1.5L and 750ml bottle will mean great things for our farmers and the environment. But it is only the first step on this journey!
We realise that families will ultimately want some larger options so we are also looking at how we may be able to accommodate a 3 litre bottle that we can make up here. As we mentioned our current power supply on farm and the cost of machinery are challenges we face but we will do our best to find a solution. This may take a while as we explore our options, but it is a distinct possibility.
We love how much you guys have backed us over the last 10 years and we hope that you will continue to support us. We really love providing you with our 100% Farmer owned and Australian owned Jersey Milk.
So what is this all going to cost? The good news is that the price for a 1.5 litre bottle of Jersey milk will be cheaper than our current 2L bottle but you will be paying more for each litre of milk.
We understand that it is a difficult time to make a change like this and at the end of the day you get to choose who you support. Our milk is rich, creamy, good old-fashioned milk that is local. By purchasing it you are helping to sustain a local industry well into the future.
The choice is yours, but a thought to keep in your mind while making it, do you really want a watery homogenized milk with the profits going overseas or a rich creamy Jersey milk owned by a local company which is recycling money in our local community?
Thanks for your support