For many centuries Myponga, located on the foothills of the Fleurieu Peninsula, has been acknowledged as a farming community, in particular dairy farming. During the mid-late 1900’s Myponga had approximately 40 dairy farms all receiving a sufficient income to support their families.
However, during the early 2000’s the viability of owning a dairy was quickly becoming obsolete. Feed prices were rising rapidly whilst the farm gate price returned to the farmer was declining. The results were obvious, farms throughout Australia were being forced to sell their stock and escape the financial hardship. The farms operating in Myponga had decreased from around 40 to 10.
Two of the farms still battling were owned by Barry and Merridie Clarke, Chris and Karen Royans, and Geoff and Louise Hutchinson. These three families quite clearly understood if they didn’t differentiate themselves they would also be forced to sell the farms that had been with their families for generations.
It was at this point in 2004 that they began brainstorming ideas about ways to bottle and sell their own milk. It was clear that the full cream, quality milk that was being taken from the farm was not being on sold in the shops. There was a niche in the market that they believed could be tapped by providing “real milk, how it used to taste” to the consumer.
With nothing to lose, the Fleurieu Milk Company was created.
The two farms had differing herds. Barry and Merridie had a Jersey herd of which the milk would be labelled ‘Jersey Premium.’ Chris, Karen, Geoff and Louise had a Friesian Holstein herd of which the milk would be labelled ‘Farm Fresh.’ Both farms would bottle a low fat, homogenised, and unhomogenised milk.
A closed down dairy became the site for the production factory, which is on the farm owned by Chris, Karen, Geoff and Louise. Two stressful years were then spent ensuring everything was in place ready to begin bottling milk.