A camel milk dairy with SA origins has made major steps in its new location near Ipswich, Qld.
Hannah Purss and Evan Casey, formerly of Port Broughton, have set up their dairy about an hour outside Brisbane, and have been busy creating infrastructure.
Ms Purss said the couple had been looking for the right place to settle, and the proximity to Brisbane, with its access to vets, nutritionists and markets, appealed.
The couple has also formed a partnership with central Qld based investors, Jeff Flood and Paul Martin from SNC Agri.
“SNC Agri specialise in large scale agriculture models and they had been working on a camel dairy, so we joined forces,” Ms Purss said. “The four of us have combined our skills and passion for camel milk.”
Ms Purss said since moving in November, they have been busy constructing a herringbone dairy and setting up a processing plant.
While they wait for the plant to be fully operational and the appropriate accreditation, the camel milk is being used to create soap and cosmetics, which they plan to sell through their website.
Ms Purss said once they were able to sell milk, they would start marketing from local health stores and then interpret the market as they go.
Ms Purss said the camels have adapted really well to the new dairy.
“It’s only been a few weeks since they’ve been inside the herringbone dairy and still getting used to it but the milk let down is increasing every day,” she said.
“Some are producing more than we expected and others are producing about the same as we thought. It’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next few months.”
They milk 12 camels with a few more due to give birth soon. In the past few weeks they have also taken delivery of another truckload of camels from central Qld and begun training these.
She said they have modelled most of their practices on similar businesses in the United Arab Emirates.
“They’re doing it the best in the world,” she said. “We’re trying to make our way of doing things optimal for staff, animal welfare and production.”
The couple have not ruled out bringing their operation back to SA. Ms Purss said they were using this first dairy as a starting point to get the set up right, then they hoped to establish more.
“We certainly hope to grow into more and larger dairies in whatever locations are appropriate,” she said.
“Australia is really going to benefit from the camel milk industry.”