Big win for Little Big Dairy

Little Big Dairy Co milk has been named best in state at the Dairy Industry Association of Australia's NSW Awards of Excellence held in Sydney recently.

The Dubbo based single-source dairy won a string of gold medals for it's milk and cream products, with it's non-homogenised whole milk entry going on to win Champion White Milk and Overall Champion Milk.

Owned and run by the Chesworth family, 6th and 7th generation dairy farmers, the dairy farm has met with outstanding success since making the transition to single source production in 2012.

LBDC Director, Emma Elliott (nee Chesworth), says the win is a great achievement for a relatively young company.

"We're pretty shocked, there were over 400 entries in the competition and it's a pretty big deal for a small company like ours to win it when we're competing against much larger brands," she said.

"The prize was awarded to our non-homogenised milk which still has the cream on top and is less processed, so it's a testament to the animals and the farming practices we use.

"It's not like we formulated with a special recipe to win, it's just everything we do on our farm that's produced a great product.

"We've entered before and we've always won gold and silver medals for our milk so we knew we were doing something right but this year we got the Champion.

"It's such a nice feeling to be recognised and to know that all our hard work and attention to detail is paying off."

Gold medals were awarded to LBDCs Full Cream, Less Cream milk varieties, as well as the Pouring Cream and Double Cream. With No Cream milk winning silver.

Judges noted the clean, fresh, full bodied taste of LBDC's non-homogenised milk entry.

Janos Kaldy from the Dairy Industry Association of Australia said it was fantastic to see a small, family owned company win the top prize.

"It comes down to the quality of the milk coming out of the cow," he said, "Little Big Dairy are a good business and they know what they're doing."

Mrs Elliott believes the ability to control their milk from udder to shop shelf led to the success.

"Being single source and bottling the milk on our farm gives us the advantage compared to businesses that outsource milk from other farms, they just don't have the same level of quality control," she explained.

"We also have really high animal welfare standards, they are happy, healthy cows that go on fresh grass every day.

"We work really closely with our vet and nutritionist to make sure they are in good health and to keep their diets well balanced."

A new state of the art chiller installed on the farm has also helped improve the quality of the milk, cooling it to 2 degrees celsius within a fwe seconds of being removed from the udder.

"We don't have many years of experience in manufacturing side of things or in entering competitions, but as we're gaining experience we're always fine tuning things in the factory to make it better than before." Mrs Elliott said.

A proud history of over 100 years in dairy farming combined with the enthusiasm of the younger generation has ensured the success of LBDC and let to its rapid rise in popularity.

The farm has been in the spotlight recently following the milk price media storm and consumer led boycott of unbranded milk in the supermarket.

LBDC has since experienced a 20% increase in orders of their milk and milk products.

Mrs Elliott hopes the win will raise further awareness about the importance of traceability and fair pricing in the dairy industry.

"The award is proof that we are producing a superior product." she said.

"Paying a little bit more for your milk ensures the farmer is paid fairly, but also means you get a better product.

"Single source production guarantees the integrity of the milk, it is so important to support traceable, family owned milk brands."

Little Big Dairy Co. will represent NSW at the 2017 Australian Grand Dairy Awards.