A Scenic Rim dairy farm steeped in tradition and authenticity has taken out the delicious. Harvey Norman Produce Awards state title for the third year running.
Sixth generation Tommerup's Dairy Farm in the Kerry Valley is the Queensland state finalist in the dairy category of the 2022 awards.
The tiny farm with a big heart is proving there is room in the market for producers of all sizes to survive and thrive.
Kay and Dave Tommerup milk just 20 cows on their 200-acre property in a deliberate bid to focus on quality over quantity and regenerate their farm for generations to come.
Read more: Dairy farmers start to weigh their options
Kay said, thanks to the support of conscious consumers, there was no waste on the farm.
"It's becoming more of a focus with chefs, how they can be part of that whole cycle by taking vealers and therefore allowing us to raise all our calves and not sell any as bobby calves and allowing us to focus on the production of cream products by taking our milk-fed pork which uses the waste product of skim milk," she said.
"We're not wasting any animals, we're not wasting any product that comes from the creamery and to tie it all in, we're rotating all those animals around the farm to have a positive impact on the land itself, repairing the land."
Kay and Dave made the bold decision to leave processor Norco in January 2021 after establishing their Tommerup's Jersey Girl line of boutique dairy products in 2019.
It was a decision they did not take lightly, having supplied Norco since 1984, when the company took over the former Logan and Albert Co-Op.
Kay said they hoped to encourage others to have confidence in their product and their ability to succeed without a middleman.
"It's really important that we encourage other farmers who might be thinking, 'we can't keep doing this', that we let them know there are other ways to do it," she said.
"There's support out there and there's a community of people who are going it alone who will support each other, for it to be viable."
Read more: Cows crush plants to produce healthier milk
She said the award was a win for the Scenic Rim and for conscious consumers everywhere.
"This award means so much because not just recognition of the quality of our product, but also recognises the extra effort that goes into making a clear choice to regenerate our farm for future generations," she said.
"By building these relationships with our customers, and chefs in particular, we are able to show the real value of our product.
"When they are using our product they remember those connections with us, our story, our farm, our animals.
"When a higher value is placed on products coming from farmers choosing a regenerative journey, it allows more resources to be allocated to those regenerative practices and helps us to continue down that path.
"The whole story, from raising calves right through to the end product, means something more than just being about the product and taste."
Tommerup's now proceed to the Produce Awards national judging in Sydney in May, where a panel of Australia's leading chefs and restaurateurs will judge the 2022 trophy winners.
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