Behind The Little Big Dairy Co brand stands a whole family who all work hard each day to ensure the quality of our milk.
The Little Big Dairy Company is an Australian owned dairy brand that delivers Single Source Milk directly from our family’s dairy and on farm factory. We do this because we are driven to keep farming. We believe that when you take care of the little things the big things take care of themselves.
Located just west of Dubbo in the Central West of NSW our family work together across the entire supply chain, delivering over 100,000 litres of fresh bottled milk from our family dairy direct to customers across NSW and the ACT each week.
What makes us different is our attention to detail on a large scale, working together in our own roles allows us to do this. We work to our strengths and passion, with a strong focus on operating to the highest attainable standard and integrity always. This flows right through the supply chain from our farming practices to customer service.
Single Source means that the milk is sourced solely from our family's dairy farm
Single Source means that the milk is sourced solely from our family’s dairy farm. This is what guarantees the quality, traceability and integrity of every drop of milk.
We are a proud Australian family owned business. But what really makes us special is our farming excellence resulting in premium quality milk combined with our on farm factory that allows us to bottle and share our products with many. This underpins the growth of our bottled milk sales, coupled with service to match. The Little Big Dairy Co Single Source Milk brand is increasingly sought after, read on to find out more.
The sustainable dairy chain with the support of regenerative farming practices underpinned by scientifically proven methods cows live longer, have more lactations and achieve higher milk production. This approach ensures the best health and welfare of the cows, the farm and the people.
This principle is based on the philosophy to close as many loops within the operations as possible. It is turning waste into a valuable resource and value-adding along the supply chain. It is spending resources in a way that ensures everything runs optimally and is doing the job once and is doing it well.
The first and primary goal
is to care for animals.
Calves born on the farm grow to join the milking herd
at about 20-24months old. Best care of calves at birth
involves administering a high volume of good quality
colostrum and close attention in the early weeks. We
achieve this through providing individual housing with
access to special baby calf meal, fresh water and regular
On the farm we have 3 milking herds, 2 are milked 3 times
in 24 hours and 1 is milked 2 times. This practice protects
udder health because regular milking reduces the risks
of mastitis. The 3 times per day also ensures there is always
supervision of the herds, particularly the maternity pen,
enabling good cow and calf care at birth.
Diet fed to cows is very
important to the herd
Good nutrition stands alongside a comprehensive veterinarian program, vaccination ensures we focus on prevention rather than treatment making day to day management simple, disbudding of horns of young calves, and hoof trimming all delivering the best outcome for the animal.
Part of delivering a healthy diet is the access to secure underground water that we rely on for irrigation to grow winter pastures such as oats, clovers and rye grass, and summer forages and fodder crops like corn. Our herds are grazed under 12 centre pivots irrigators, 95% of irrigation is accessible from 4 bores on 300ha. The bores are interconnected through a manifold to ensure best management practices including water efficiencies, effluent water usage and sustainable farming.
Effluent water is a description used for all waste water used in the factory and milking shed from plant washing and yard washdown.
Effluent water is a description used for all waste water used in the factory and milking shed from plant washing and yard washdown. This water is a valuable nutrient source for pasture, and using this in irrigation means this resource is not wasted.
The diets fed to cows are balanced through the inclusion of grains such as corn, wheat and barley and by-products such as canola meal and millrun. The crops grown on the farm are conserved as silage and hay.
The diets are managed by our veterinarian nutritionist Neil Moss and local veterinarian Don Crosby.
Due to the investment in best genetics we hold interstate cattle sales
Due to the investment in best available genetics, registering the herd with Holstein Australia and many years of showing, we have been able to hold on farm dairy cattle sales bringing buyers from interstate, we also sell bulls to dairy farmers looking for a stud bull for their breeding programs. All bull calves are reared with those not chosen for the stud market being sold onto the feedlot industry at about 10months of age or 24months depending on the season.
Solar is utilized
across the property
Solar is utilized across the property. Energy efficiencies studies have shown we are achieving very good utilization of solar investment. Solar panels are on the processing and cool room at the factory, the roof of the milking shed, and on 2 irrigation bores. We continue to work with consultants so not to miss opportunities to expand our renewables for energy conversion.
Technologies are found in all facets of our business
Technologies are found in all facets of our business that stand behind the Single Source logo, our state-of-the-art dairy was built in 2010, it is a 28 aside Bou Matic rapid exit equipped with electronic milk metering and full herd health monitoring through Real Time technologies. These milk meters are what supports the traceability of our Single Source milk brand. The system was updated in December 2020. Other technologies include operating the irrigation, ordering and communications through phone apps.
And it all takes place in the beautiful landscape of the Macquarie Valley where we devote time to riparian fencing to allow regeneration of the native river gums, establishing tree lots across the farm, diverting water away from dead spots on paddocks to capture in the on-farm reservoir, spreading of dried cow manure from the effluent system, importing of chicken and turkey shed manures, soil testing and rotation of crops, incorporating nitrogen fixating crops such as vetch and lucerne.
It is a busy place, with lots of activity all in partnership with the environment
It is a busy place, with lots of activity all in partnership with the environment. Wonderful long term staff members and long-term associations from suppliers to customers to growers to bankers and consultants. It is relationships and time with those sharing in the ethos of closing the loop, regeneration of the landscape, and enriching the experience to our many loyal consumers who understand that doing the little things properly ensures the big things take care of themselves, and knowing that it is lots of little things that make up the big thing.
The first time our Single Source milk leaves the farm is in a bottle.
One kilometre from the dairy shed stands our on-farm factory. Our family value for taking care of the little things doesn’t stop at the farm, it continues right through processing, bottling and distribution.
Our on farm milk processing factory boasts Australia’s highest food safety licence with an A rating as well as being an export accredited establishment.
Here the milk is delivered fresh from the dairy and pasteurised within hours. The first time our Single Source milk leaves the farm is in a bottle.
Minimum heat treatment ensures the flavour and taste of all our products
Minimum heat treatment is permitted due to the high quality of the raw milk received directly from the dairy, and this is what ensures the beautiful flavour and taste of all our products.
All wash down water from the factory is used across the farm for irrigation, any short date products are donated to local charities or Ozharvest and every energy is spent working on closing the loop. If we see something we can do better, we start working towards it.
Solar panels line the factory and cool room roof lines with our solar panels powering 100 kw of our maximum 120kw power draw. Technology for remote start and shutdown of the factory allow us to only have machinery running when necessary and allows our people resources to be as efficient as possible.
We our proud to invest in new machinery and vehicles which are not only more environmentally friendly for now, but are steading us into a long term future of reliable service.
Our milk is packed into cardboard boxes made from recycled cardboard
Milk is packed into cardboard boxes which are made from recycled cardboard, and are also recycled both directly at the customer level but also any returns are bailed here on site for recycling. Using cardboard boxes instead of the traditional milk creates means that our trucks are not travelling half full of empty crates. We are able to collect back loads of other items as well as return to our factory from our runs with materials like pallets of bottles or new boxes, not just empty crates. Not to mention the high level of sanitisation the crates require to re enter the bottling line.
At our site, we are also able to bail soft plastics such as pallet wrap that is not recyclable via our regular commingled recycling bin. Bailing allows us to send this minimally used plastic directly into the recycling centre in a bail for recycling. We are excited for the day when all our milk bottles can also be collectd and bailed in this way to return them to virgin resin and back into new milk bottles.
We are the first and sole Faritrade registered milk company in Australia
Not long after our inception, we began to make flavoured milks. Naturally Erika began to experiment with ingredients she had in her pantry, always being able to replicate a recipe from taste (and even improving it from the original dish). Ingredients such as Fairtrade instant coffee and vanilla bean extract mixed with raw sugar and our full cream milk, wizzed together tasted amazing! It is no secret that this is how we still make them today. Albeit on a larger scale, The Little Big Dairy Co remains the first and sole Faritrade registered milk company in Australia. And we are committed to this certification, it ensures that the farmers producing the ingredients such as coffee, cocoa, sugar and vanilla bean extracts are paid a fair price and are purchased through secure channels. It also means that 2% of all Fairtrade flavoured milk sales go directly to the communities in which the products are grown
All of these practices would not be possible without the combined efforts of our amazing teams
Each with their own roles and responsibilities, each one is vitally important and equally values for their part in the supply chain. Individually we focus on our little things, which make up to something big and really special… and this is what we call The Little Big Dairy Co.
It is a privilege to share our journey with you and importantly the special milk products from this place. It is our belief that it should not be reserved for the special few, it should be readily available to many, supporting the economy in which it was made.