Biodynamic dairy finds true north

Established in 1960s, the Mungalli Creek Dairy is in the rolling hills of the southern Atherthon Tablelands in northern Queensland, surrounded on three sides by World Heritage-listed rainforest.

Named after a nearby feature, the 200 hectare Mungalli Creek Dairy farm has a mix of Aussie Red, Friesian, Jersey and Swiss Brown cows that graze year round. Their milk is used to produce a variety of products, including yoghurt. Its award-winning products are free from emulsifiers, gelatines and colourants.

Rob Watson and his brother Dan took over the running of the farm from their parents in 1987, and have maintained the ethos that food should be produced as naturally as possible. This philosophy has defined the farm, which has adopted biodynamic farming practices from pastures through to manufacturing. The family has been encouraging other farmers in the area to adopt similar practices, and two neighbouring properties now produce their own bio-dynamic products.

Mungalli Creek has recently increased its own biodynamic footprint, acquiring three additional farms to convert to their farming practices – one of these properties has already been converted and the process is under way at the other two.

“We believe that as the current custodians of this beautiful land, we have a responsibility to leave it better than before.”

Rob says that he is inspired in his mission by his customers and the continuing support of the community. “We

believe that as the current custodians of this beautiful land, we have a responsibility to leave it better than before, so that this pristine part of Queensland is here in all its beauty for future generations,” he says.

The growth of the business has been boosted by successfully obtaining funding from the Department of State Development Infrastructure and Planning through their Jobs and Regional Growth project, who are contributing $1.5 million towards the cost of a new $3 million production facility.

This will generate 25 new jobs and enable Mungalli Creek Dairy to produce a range of new products and process the additional milk from their recently acquired farms. It will also enable the business to obtain an export license for supplying Christmas markets.

In order to sustain growth, Mungalli Creek has been investigating equity crowdfunding.

“This will enable us to develop new products sooner and investigate how we can offer even more recyclable packaging and alternative means of delivering our milk that are truly sustainable,” Rob explains. The business is now inviting people who love what they do to get involved themselves and join their journey through having the chance to own a little piece of Mungalli Creek via equity crowdfunding.C

This story first appeared in issue 24 of the Inside Small Business quarterly magazine.

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