Andrew Ibbott is now apart of the Big River Milk team
Andrew Ibbott is now apart of the Big River Milk team Caitlan Charles

Big future for Big River Milk

BIG River Milk is looking to its future using flatulent cows and their by-products to build up the business.

Local Farm Fresh director Paul Watt said the company now fully owns the farm, as well as the processing plant, and that Big River Milk's role in the Clarence Valley community is looking up.

"Now we have ownership of the whole farm, from the cow right the way though to delivering the milk, we have the whole process now," Mr Watt said. "This gives us security over the fact that we don't have to rely on a large factory.

"We've got control of the quality of the product that we receive and the standard of the product so we can assure the consumer that what they are getting is of a high standard."

With the take over of the farm, Mr Watt said Local Farm Fresh have employed a share farmer, Andrew Ibbott, to look after that side of the business.

"Andrew's from down south, several generation of jersey dairy farming, loves his jersey cows, thinks they are the greatest cows around," Mr Watt said.

Andrew Ibbott, who has just joined the Big River Milk team, with his dog Miss in the milking sheds.
Andrew Ibbott, who has just joined the Big River Milk team, with his dog Miss in the milking sheds. Caitlan Charles

"My business partner probably has a different idea because he's a Holstein man, but he's a great believer in looking after the cattle, good animal husbandry, looking after the pastures."

But taking ownership of the whole production is not the only things that is helping Big River Milk move into the future.

"Our plans are to expand the operation over the next couple of years," Mr Watt said. "We intend to move into cheese making, that's one of our goals.

"We also intend to make the whole dairy farm a green farm. We'll be putting in a whole bunch of solar or cogen(eration) power. Also with the ability to use the methane gasses for doing electrical generation, there are a lot of big plans over the next two years.

"I don't know if we could say this is the first green farm in NSW but I'd say it was the first green dairy farm in this area."

Expansion is another major goal for the business in the next few years.

"We have another farm at Raleigh. We'll be using that farm to put some other share farms on to grow other produce, chooks and putting horticulture in place to grow fruit and veggies," he said.

"We have a delivery business which operates in Coffs Harbour, so that will  provide produce for that local business.

"Our plans are pretty huge. We believe in locally produced, fresh wholesome produce delivered straight to your door. At the same time we're about supporting the local community with jobs. That's our ethos. We want to keep jobs in the North Coast region.

"When we took over the factory, there were about four people employed. We're now up to 12 with all our drivers and management staff and we intend to keep that growing."



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