A small business in New South Wales has become the first company to legally sell unpasteurised or raw milk in Australia after being granted regulatory approval to sell the controversial product.
Made By Cow have devised a ‘cold pressure’ method that kills bacteria and allows milk to be made safe without the need for heat.
This method is the same as that used for ‘cold pressed’ juices, which instead of heating milk to 70 degrees, milk is pressurised at 7000 times atmospheric pressure to remove dangerous pathogens and bacteria.
“We had to demonstrate we could reach equilibrium to heat pasteurisation with harmful pathogens,” says Made by Cow founder Saxon Joye.
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“We’ve done that.”
Made by Cow’s product has been been approved by the NSW Food Authority and is being stocked by all Harris Farm Markets and About Life stores, as well as independent retailers.
Based on the NSW south coast, Made by Cow also claims to pay dairy farmers 50% more per litre of milk than major dairy processors.
But Joye told SmartCompany getting to the point of being able to sell the milk was not an easy process.
Joye says he set his sights on “the holy grail” of selling safe, raw milk nearly three years ago, but it taken a huge effort to go from the idea to selling milk.
“The whole process could have fallen over at any moment,” he says. “We were really lucky all the components came together.”
“You know, it takes a village to do something like this,” he says.
“We had all these people around the table – if you take one of them out, then there’s no product on the shelf.”
The move is a big innovation in the local milk industry, which has been using pasteurisation for decades.
Joye says Made By Cow is not trying to compete with bigger milk producers – besides having such a small run (the business’ first run was “a couple of thousand litres”), the business is angling at a different market.
“We’ve definitely seen a market for less processed products, we have tried to tap into that,” he says.
“Milk pasteurisation has done great things as we’ve moved from a rural economy to living in cities, we’ve increased the distance between the farm and the front gate.”
“Pasteurisation made milk safe and brought it to people, but technology has moved on, and we want to provide milk that tastes better and looks better,” Joye says.
Made By Cow isn’t looking too far into the future; the main focus now is getting more batches out after the business sold out of milk in the first 24 hours.
However, Joye says he’d love to expand the business’ product line beyond milk.
“We’re thinking it would be great do get cream, yogurt, mixing cold brewed coffee with cold pressed milk – that would be a thing of beauty,” he says.
As for those trying to innovate their ways into big industries, he says his advice is simple:
“Persistence. Just keep trying,” he says.