We have one question for you food connoisseurs who buy free-range eggs, know the source of your morning coffee beans and can sniff out a menu boasting seasonal, paddock-to-plate produce better than a hog hunting truffles:
Do you know where your milk comes from?
If you’re living in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy and consume milk from Saint David Dairy (SDD),the chances are you probably do. That’s because the inner city micro-dairy practices ‘grass-to-glass’ production methods for all of its fresh milk and milk products.
“The people who support us want their questions about their food – where it comes from – answered,” says Ben Evans, SDD’s managing director and food technologist.
“That’s where we’ve struck a chord. We work with third-generation local family farmers and we pay them well above the going rate for milk. We have good, ethical production practices.”
The sustainable ethos of the micro-dairy aims to give the white-coloured drink staple the artisan credit it deserves.
The dairy is a one-stop production, bottling and delivery shop. It employs only 20 staff aged between 22 and 45 years old, and sources all of its milk from a farm, located within 100 kilometres from the inner city factory door.
The milk is transported in bulk to Fitzroy where it’s bottled on-site and delivered to around 350 stockists.
“There are not many milk businesses around like us, as we pick up milk ourselves every day, fresh from the farm and we deliver it ourselves to the customer,” says Evans, who grew up in a dairy town, has a long family history of dairy production and worked in dairies around the world.
“There’s a level of traceability that people enjoy [with our milk]…We also personally check the milk to see that it stretches [gently aerating the milk for espresso drinks] nicely. We are constantly in connection with the product.”