A grant from the state government could help raw milk cheese producers crack the luxury food market overseas.
Funding through the Advanced Foods Manufacturing Grants Program has provided a $68,000 grant that will support four South Australian cheesemakers.
These include Angaston’s Barossa Valley Cheese Company, Section28 Artisan Cheeses, Hindmarsh Valley Dairy and Woodside Cheese Wrights.
The quarter form the South Australian Raw Milk Cheese Collective.
The Collective will collaborate with DairySafe SA and the University of Tasmania to establish protocols and validation for category 2 raw milk cheese making.
Barossa Valley Cheese Company Managing Director Victoria McClurg said the grant would help with research.
“The grant funding will be used to run the production trials and testing methodologies for 20 batches of cheese across 3 regions of South Australia,” she said.
“The products will be produced over the winter months, which will provide clarity around any challenges faced on farm and in factory and challenge the parameters of unpasteurised cheesemaking.
Ms McClurg described the collaboration between the three bodies as a “unique” opportunity.
“Working in conjunction with the governing body for dairy manufacturing in South Australia (DairySafe) and with the technical expertise and research conducted by the University of Tasmania, it will ensure this project is a genuine collaboration between all parties involved.
“This is a very unique opportunity to combine knowledge and skill sets to create a protocol that covers all issues arising from the capabilities and procedure requirements for unpastuerised cheese.”
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the state government was committeed to assisting local producers.
“The goal is to enable the production of high-end and unique South Australian cheeses to target the luxury food market overseas and interstate, creating new market opportunities and scalable food safety mechanisms,” Mr Whetstone said.
“This project would see strong collaboration across some of the state’s most highly skilled and passionate cheesemakers.
“It is a pleasure to assist the South Australian Raw Milk Cheese Collective access the expertise they need to put other exceptional South Australian-made products on shelves around the country.”
The Collective has more than 50 years of cheese-making experience between them and will look to break into new markets both locally and internationally.