Our Dairy Farms

A good story from the farm to the plate

The best dairy-story always begins at the farm. You see, the milk is everything when it comes to producing the finest quality dairy. The rich green pastures of our Hinterland produce some exceptional milk. We think it’s worthy of a good price. A fair price. Our region’s finest producers want to ensure that our farmers remain on their farms, doing what they love. Local farmers are the backbone of our community, helping to create an abundant region connecting food, production, business and tourism.

The creamy, luscious hinterland milk we use at Maleny Cheese comes from five small dairy farms in the region, including our own, Obi Obi Dairy. This milk pool also supplies some of South-East Queensland’s most recognised independent dairy brands. We pay our farmers a sustainable and fair farmgate price (SFFP) for their milk, so we can ensure the Australian dairy industry has a future.

The changing face of farming

To explain the significance of this venture, we have to go back a little further into history. You see, it wasn’t always a struggle for farmers. The Sunshine Coast hinterland has a rich history in dairy farming which spans the past 120 years. At the time of the industry’s peak in the 1960s, our region had approximately 300 butter and cheese factories. Once, prized cows were walked down the main streets of Maleny to local applause, and our butter was exported as far as England.

Fast forward to the later part of the 20th Century, and deregulation would change farming forever. Increasing expectation, climate change and the downward pressure on farm gate prices, meant hundreds of dairy farmers in the region were closed. By the time we founded Maleny Cheese in 2004, there were only 30 farms still remaining in the area.

As a multi-generational dairy farmer and master cheesemaker, Markus was always going to be invested in the Maleny dairy industry. In 2014, we purchased one of the dairy farms that supplied our milk. Since then, we have been proudly immersed into the entire process and have truly become a vertically integrated business. We understand the difficulties faced by all sides and by serving the public directly in our cafe and cheesery, we also see that people are increasingly inspired to connect with where their food is grown and made.

Local matters at Maleny

More than ever, South-East Queensland consumers are looking for better ways to support their community. More of us are asking “Where does my food come from? Is it healthy for me? Was it made fairly?” We want a product which is closer to the region, a local product with lower food mileage (kilometres) made simply and with love. A product which feeds us, and by buying it, we are helping to feed the local region around us. Up here in Maleny, we have a wealth of community support for reviving the local smaller factories, supporting our industry and helping to keep the cogs turning in this beautiful part of the world.

Sara is often the frontwoman for these wider regional issues. She is heavily involved with colleges in the dairy industry as well as local peak bodies such as QDO (Queensland Dairy Organisation), Dairy Australia, FAN (Food Agribusiness Network Sunshine Coast) and the Sustainable Dairy Circle. Jennepher also serves as Treasurer of our local Maleny Chamber of Commerce. We employ locally, and offer school-based traineeships in the food processing area, cafe and on our farm.

Maleny Cheese is dedicated to rewriting a great story for dairy in South-East Queensland and shaping a bright future for our local community.

Support the products of our region

See the range of local products we have curated for sale in our Cafe Store, carefully selected for their quality, taste and food story.

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