Kangaroos, koalas, and…milk powder? While dairy production might not be the first thought that comes to mind when Australia comes into conversation, the continent is a significant player in the global dairy industry. Compared to production giants like United States and New Zealand, Australia’s dairy product yield is limited in its scope; however, it nevertheless stands as one of the world’s largest exporters, with over half of its overall yield going to consumers overseas. Currently, Australia stands as the world’s third-largest exporter, ranked just behind New Zealand and the E.U. In 2011, PwC Australia reported that the Australian dairy industry pulled in over $2 billion in domestic and international sales and produced over 9 billion liters (2.5 billion gallons) of milk. Though it might be better known for its wildlife and culture, Australia has made a quiet name for itself in the international dairy community.
Despite the continent’s large size, dairy production in Australia mainly confines itself to the relatively temperate coastal zones. These areas tend to see more rain and thus have better and more reliable access to needed water than inland farms. Dairy farms do occasionally operate beyond the coast; however, the cost associated with irrigating a farm makes coastal dairy farming the more affordable and popular option. All told, the nation hosts over 1.5 million cows and boasts an average herd size of 220 head. According to the Australian State Milk Authorities, there are nearly 6,000 registered dairy farms currently active in the country, with Victoria far outstripping other states as the largest production region. Interestingly, Victorian production is typically seasonal and primarily services the export market, while the other states collectively provide milk and its products to domestic consumers year-round.
Like any other major player in the industry, Australia produces a wide range of dairy products including but not limited to: milk, milk powder, butter, yogurt, and cheese. In recent years, the need for fresh milk has been on the upswing as consumers continue to clamor for low- and reduced-fat milk. The vast majority of the country’s fresh milk exports go to bulk buyers in Asia. Australia’s relatively close proximity to countries such as Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and China has allowed the country to build strong trade ties; in 2011, roughly 80% of Australia’s milk and milk powder exports went to the Asian continent, while an additional 15% went to countries in the Pacific. Conversely, Australia’s cheese industry primarily services the domestic market. Domestically, cheese and cheese powder sales bring in around $1.5 billion annually, while exports claim a still-respectable but smaller $715 million.
One point is for sure: Australia might not be well-known for its dairy, but it certainly shouldn’t be overlooked by those in the business.
From the very beginning, humans have been taught to have a negative attitude towards fat. “Only one dessert, Louise! Too many and you’ll get fat,” you’ll hear your mother tell you countless times as a kid. It trains your brain to think every time you see the words “low fat” or “fat free,” the product must be healthier than its higher fat counterpart. But what if this low fat praise is a sham? What if fat was actually good for you, and that water-thin skim milk you’ve been drinking to cut down on some pounds is actually worse for you than higher fat content milk? Together, scientists and nutritionists alike are debunking this fat myth, allowing whole milk to finally have its moment to shine.
It is unarguable that anything in excess becomes bad for the body after a while; you can even eat too many apples! However, the real culprit of detrimental overindulgence is the excessive avoiding of healthy fats your body necessitates for proper functional performance. While having a lavish attitude towards fats might seem like the risk for diabetes, obesity, and heart disease would become higher, intaking a decadent amount of sugar and carbohydrates as calorie replacements for the fat your body misses out in consuming reduced fat milk actually puts the body at an even higher risk for disease than whole milks, butters, and other fatty dairy products.
So how does a myth like this start? Is it because we expect healthier foods to taste worse than high-calorie foods? Perhaps, but regulating the nutrients your body intakes by assuming the better foods for your health are the ones that don’t taste as appetizing isn’t exactly the most productive nor accurate path. In recent data collected in the Nurses’ Health Study of Health Professionals Follow-up Study, it has been shown that those who consume high fat milks receive several different byproducts low fat milks do not provide, byproducts with the ability to lower the risk for diabetes by around forty-six-percent. Seems nutty, right? The thing is, if we break it down, it makes a whole lot of sense. To function, our bodies need nutrients, regardless of their reputation in health journals or magazines, so while skim milk might have a lower fat content, by default, it has a lower nutrient content and the potential for greater health risks.
The last thing we want you to do after reading this is chug whole milk by the gallon, but maybe with this new information, dumping the fat free milk for some nutrient-rich milk might be in your near future. Here’s to proving government-regulated dietary guides wrong, and to listening to your body’s needs this time around.
About Bluegrass Dairy and Food
Bluegrass Dairy and Food is a leading full-service supplier of specialty ingredients for the food industry. Since 1995 we have produced a wide range of value-added powders, creamers, shortenings, and other dairy products. We now offer many of our products with kosher or organic certifications as well.
Bluegrass is a market-leading business in the value-added, specialty dried dairy segment, and has a solid track record of both providing high-quality products and cultivating long-term supplier and customer relationships locally and internationally. From custom formulating blends to delivering real-time insights into the dairy market, Bluegrass helps customers make the best decisions (and the best purchases) for their businesses.
Our dedication to research and development has particularly made us a standout business in the industry. The experienced team at Bluegrass is ready and willing to formulate and commercialize proprietary powders for your food applications. With our exemplary facilities, we can help you and your business turn your ideas into reality and find the perfect ingredient.
Since our founding, we have won well over a dozen awards and accolades for the quality of our cheeses and other dairy products, our community service, and our overall contributions to the industry in Glasgow/Barren County.
- World Championship Cheese Contest – Best In Class (Monterey Jack)
- Incredible Food Show – Best Of Show Savory (Smoked Cheddar)
- Governor Phil Bredesen’s Award (Monterey Jack)
- Kentucky State Fair – Cheddar Cheese (Gold Medal) Aged Cheddar Cheese (Gold Medal) Processed American Cheese (Gold Medal) Sweet Cream Butter (Gold Medal)
The Bluegrass Dairy and Food team is highly experienced in the formulation and production of custom solutions for food providers around the world. Unlike many larger manufacturers, we offer a variety of production facilities so that we can process all kinds of quantities from one-pound samples to truckloads. Our pilot dryer produces samples without a full scale production run, while our dry blending capabilities allow us to process in very large quantities — just two great examples on opposite sides of the spectrum of services that we provide.
A family-oriented business from day one, we have strategically grown our company as an industry leader while keeping our roots:
We take great pride in providing high-touch service to customers around the clock.
A common thread runs through all of our work: a genuine passion for what we create.
Those of us at Bluegrass Dairy and Food are the first to admit that there is no crystal ball to predict what happens in the dynamic dairy market, but thanks to our strategic location in a central dairy area and our own research and development, we are always at the forefront. This is a general market blog, where we’ll share news and insights into the dairy industry. We will also share our quarterly insights based on time-sensitive news from around the world.