Manager reveals future for Clarence Valley milk
THE next time you pop into the corner shop for milk, you might notice a fresh, local face in the fridge.
The Southgate dairy farm, formerly Big River Milk, has since been sold to Sydney businessman Kam Hasan. The farm now operates as Clarence Valley Dairy under the business name Balance Agro Complex Pty Ltd.
Since taking ownership from February this year Clarence Valley Dairy has been making inroads back into local businesses including several coffee shops, SPAR Maclean and Richie's IGA. However, there are plans to take the local product national.
"Our bigger picture is grow the local then go to Sydney," operations manager Barry Paff said.
"It's only early days but we're talking to some decent players around the marketplace and as that happens it should be pretty good."
Late last year, Big River Dairy was the latest primary producer to fall victim to the drought, closing its gates in December 2019, selling off most of its herd and putting the business on the market.
However, since the change of ownership, Mr Paff said things were looking positive.
"We've got the factory all up and running again, which is going extremely well," he said.
"At the moment we're milking around 180 cows, which is only the start. We aim to increase to 400 cows in the next few months."
Mr Paff said he was pleased that there was a long-term goal to grow the business on a local level.
"We currently have nine staff but once we get it to the size we want there will be somewhere between 15 and 20 staff," he said.
"We've got owners that are passionate which is a really good thing to have. They want to see things happen, so they're pushing hard and making things happen. They've invested a lot of money in the last couple of months."
One of the biggest investments being the bovine ladies themselves.
"Cows these days are worth over $2,500 each and we've brought in about 130 cows so there's a lot of money going into it."