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La Casa seeking more milk from SA farmers

La Casa seeking more milk from SA farmers

SOUTH Australian based cheese maker La Casa Del Formaggio is building a brand new $35 million state-of-the-art cheese production facility at Edinburgh Parks in Adelaide's north, signalling the start of an exciting growth phase for the company.

Additionally, La Casa Del Formaggio is seeking more milk from South Australian dairy farmers to help it meet booming demand for its award-winning products, including bocconcini, mozzarella, burrata, ricotta, haloumi, parmesan, mascarpone and cream.

Production at the new factory will commence in October and allows for a significant increase in La Casa Del Formaggio's milk storage and processing capacity.

La Casa Del Formaggio Managing Director Claude Cicchiello said the increased capacity of the new factory meant the company was actively seeking additional milk supply for the 2022-23 financial year and beyond.

"Our company made the decision to build direct supply relationships with South Australian dairy farmers in 2014, which began with us working closely with six family farms on the Fleurieu Peninsula," he said.

"Since then, our milk supply pool has expanded to include more farms on the Fleurieu, as well as farms in the Adelaide Hills and Murraylands.

"We have done this by offering a strong, sustainable milk price to our suppliers with the option of long-term contracts and by maintaining high standards of communication.

"We value the hard work and effort of our dedicated dairy farmers and, as we move into the new factory, the increased milk storage and processing capacity means that our current farmers can invest with confidence to grow their businesses, and that La Casa Del Formaggio can also partner with even more South Australian dairy farms."

Mr Cicchiello said La Casa Del Formaggio was a second-generation family business with 33 years' experience in the South Australian dairy industry.

Like many South Australian dairy farming families, the company's core values are family, passion, and quality, Mr Cicchiello said.

"Just like our dairy farms, La Casa is a family business underpinned by family values," he said.

"Passion is at the core of what we do as a company and we care deeply about our products, customers, product quality and pursuit of excellence.

"We source high-quality milk from South Australian dairy farmers. It is this quality that helps La Casa Del Formaggio to produce our unique range of fresh cheeses and creams, making us the leading fresh cheese brand in Australia."

In the early 1990s, Mr Cicchiello successfully implemented manufacturing processes that enabled the bocconcini product to be sold on supermarket shelves.

Today, the products are available nationally in Woolworths, Coles, Costco and through independent stores such as Foodland, Drakes and IGA. The company also supplies its products to food service and industrial customers across Australia.

What the farmers are saying ...

PERRIN HICKS, MT COMPASS, SUPPLIER SINCE 2014

"The communication of Claude, as well as the milk supply team in Wayne Lyons and Ty Maidment, was fantastic and it has continued to be since the first meeting we had with them eight years ago.

"That level of communication is something we value very highly. Being able to ask questions and get answers back quickly is very valuable to our business.

"La Casa is a growing family business, just like ours. Their encouragement for us to grow has been there right from the start and they have backed that up with a strong price."

JAKE CONNOR, NANGKITA/ MT JAGGED, SUPPLIER SINCE 2019

"In all our time dairying, we've never had a secure milk price like we have now with La Casa.

"We were able to talk openly to them about our plans for growth and investment, which they were fully supportive of.

"We signed a three-year contract with La Casa, which gave us the confidence and basis to be able to commit to investing in a new robotic dairy.

"The fact that La Casa is willing to invest in their own business and expand production gives us confidence in the long-term sustainability of the industry, which is something we weren't getting previously."

KATE BARTLETT, WOODS POINT, SUPPLIER SINCE 2021

"In the end, there wasn't much difference in the price between what La Casa were offering and what another processor was offering, but it was the way we were treated by La Casa that made us feel so welcome.

"As a La Casa supplier, their plans for growth give our business stability. They believe in themselves and want to produce a quality product, which there is clearly a strong market for, and they need quality milk as much as we need a fair price to produce it."

GAVIN NEWMAN, MEADOWS, SUPPLIER SINCE 2019

"What matters more to me is having a strong relationship between the farmer and the processor rather than chasing every cent every year. We're not interested in doing that. We're interested in supplying milk to a local processor at a sustainable price that enables our business to continually invest and improve.

"Just like us, La Casa is a South Australian-owned family business operating right here in SA, employing South Australians and processing South Australian milk.

"Being a La Casa supplier makes us feel like we are part of a community. We're more than just a number."

Details: To find out more about becoming a La Casa supplier, contact Wayne Lyons, 0409 400 490; or Ty Maidment, 0413 126 073.

Find out more and speak to one of the La Casa Del Formaggio representatives at the DairySA Central Conference, 16 March 2022 at the Bridge Event Centre, Murray Bridge.