The Range News is Maleny's premium Weekly Newspaper delivered each Friday
to the People of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland from Glasshouse to
Kenilworth and west to Peachester.

Phone 07 5494 2454
Fax 07 54943268
Email: rangenews@dnet.aunz.com

Maleny Milk on the shelves
by Cameron Outridge

Maleny Milk hits the supermarket shelves today (Friday).  An initial batch of 1200 litres will be available at Maleny IGA and other shops. 

After two years planning, locals now have access to fresh milk bottled and delivered daily from the Maleny Dairies Milk Processing and Bottling Plant.  The plant is located on the Hoppers’ farm in McCarthys Road. “We’ll produce  1200 litres first up, but we have the capacity to bottle 15,000 litres a day,” said Ross Hopper.   “We’re going to start small and build up according to demand.”

Ross said that, while the milk would be slightly more expensive than other brands, it would definitely be worth it.   “It will be a little more expensive because we’ll be paying farmers more for their milk,” he said. “But it will taste better, because it’s Maleny guernsey milk.   It will be fresher because it doesn’t have to come all the way from Victoria, for instance.   It will be better for you because guernsey milk is higher in protein and butter fat.  It will have a longer shelf life because it hits the shelves faster.  And to top it all off your money stays local.

“Because of deregulation a lot of farmers are pulling the pin up here in Maleny.   We used to get 60 cents a litre. Now we’re down to 29 cents a litre.  And that’s not making ends meet for many farmers on the Range.  Before deregulation there were 33 dairy farmers in Maleny.   Now there’s 18, with a few more indicating they will be going.”  Ross said the new enterprise represented a win-win situation for local dairy farmers and the community.  “Our aim is to keep the green hills of Maleny by supporting the farmers by paying them more for their milk than they are being paid now – which in turn will help everyone.’’

“We anticipate we’ll be taking on eight other Maleny farms within six months.

Maleny Dairies will be producing full cream, farmers choice and low fat milk as well as coffee, chocolate and strawberry flavours.  Leading edge technology would help give the Maleny product the edge said Ross.  “Our pasteurising gear is brand new. It’s the latest and most gentle method of processing available.’’

The whole enterprise is a family operation. Ross’s brother Keith and his wife Sonya runs the family dairy.   Sister Kay Hollyoak is in charge of the processing and parents Harold and Dorothy oversee goat milk production which totals 1000 litres a day.   Ross said in the new year people would be able to visit the dairy to witness the milking, processing and bottling operation “and feed the cows, calves and kids (baby goats)”. 

Ross said he was looking to distribute the milk right across The Range News readership and further afield. It is currently available at Maleny IGA, Red Dingo Diner, Landsborough Country Kitchen, Kenilworth Bakery, Kenilworth IGA, and Caloundra IGA Express.

If shop owners would like to order Maleny Dairies Milk you can phone 54942392 or fax 5494 2492.

Our thanks once again to Cameron & Tanya Outridge
of the Range News Newspaper for this story.