Fleurieu Milk Company is Cream of the Crop

Like the cat that got the cream, the Fleurieu Milk team is feeling extremely proud of itself, with the company scooping the pool at the Dairysafe Awards.

Held at Adelaide Oval in August, the awards celebrate quality and safety in the South Australian dairy industry.

Dairysafe is the legislative body that oversees the dairy industry in this state, ensuring food safety standards are maintained and all dairy products are safe for human consumption.

Fleurieu Milk Company took out three major awards on the night, including the prestigious ‘Food Safety Culture Award’, which is the only award of its type in Australia across the entire food industry.  The 2022 award was aimed at dairy processors that have made the most outstanding progress in their food safety culture journey over the past 12 months

Presented by Dairysafe Chair, Roseanne Healy, and the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development and Minister for Forest Industries, Hon Clare Scriven MLC, the award was a nod to Fleurieu Milk Company’s investment in innovative training and technology, in pursuit of excellence in their processes as well as products.

Previously, the industry lacked an education or training pathway for people interested in working in the Dairy industry. So Fleurieu Milk filled the gap, creating their own internal training pathway program. The Fleurieu Milk internal training program utilises technology to deliver key food safety modules, work health safety modules and internal procedures in conjunction with practical on the job training.

As well as being embraced by the workforce, the program is also being noticed and acknowledged more broadly, with government backing, and Dairysafe noting its potential to benefit the entire industry.

Fleurieu Milk Company General Manager, Nick Hutchinson, praised team members Tina Filippidis and Adam Wilkinson for their work in developing the training program; “Tina and Adam have done a tremendous job,” he said.

Another way the company has nurtured a strong food safety culture is by investing heavily over the past three years in automation and software, to provide better reporting and a clearer understanding of what’s occurring within the company’s processes.

“Everyone’s role here is critical – we have a perishable product and things can go wrong,” Nick said.

“We want to give our team the best resources to do the best job they can in creating the high-quality products our customers expect, consistently, efficiently and safely.”

Fleurieu Milk Company also received the ‘Champion Fresh Product Award’ for its Pouring Cream, which the judges named the best fresh dairy product in South Australia (milk, cream). A favourite of professional bakers for inclusion in products such as pastries and buns, the Pouring Cream is also a winner at home, as a go-to ingredient for home cooks

Finally, the team won the ‘Chief Judge Trophy – Judges Choice’ which is the best Dairy Product across all categories, including Milk, Cream, Cheese, Yoghurt and Chocolate.

Nick said entering the awards was a great way to get an objective view on how the business is performing.

“To be viewed as the benchmark in this area, it’s humbling and satisfying without a doubt,” he said.

“Our success at the awards gives us confidence in the growth of the company and our food safety culture – it gives me great confidence that the team and the business is heading in the right direction.”

According to the judges, “Fleurieu Milk Company is an acknowledged employer of choice in the region and appreciates the important role it maintains in the local community. This is the foundation of company’s approach to food safety culture – it is a ‘whole of organisation’ attitude which, within the business, is supported by significant resourcing, training, technology and tools.”

Photos: John Krüger