While it is true that all dairy farms operate in slightly different ways, the Australian dairy industry is committed to ensuring sustainable practices that will improve the future of dairy farming. The Little Big Dairy Co is part of this initiative and employs a number of sustainable dairy farming practices throughout our farm. We work tirelessly to close the loop as we aim to become the first single source milk dairy and if we see something that we can do better, then we start working towards changing it.
But how is dairy sustainable?
Let’s start with the Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework. This was introduced to enable dairy farmers to initiate continuous improvements and, where necessary, make changes in line with the framework.
Some of the sustainability practices implemented on dairy farms across Australia include:
- Installing solar panels to the dairy roof to reduce the carbon footprint of the farm
- Improving water quality by fencing off waterways
- Recycling water from the sheds
- Providing shade and cooling facilities for herds
- Planting trees
- Using liquid waste from the dairy as liquid fertiliser
- Keeping areas of land for biodiversity and conservation
At The Little Big Dairy Co, we’re fully committed to playing our part to safeguard the Australian dairy industry. We’ve installed solar panels on the roofs of the factory and cool room which enable us to power 100KW of our maximum 120KW power draw and all wash down water from the factory is used across our Australian dairy farm for irrigation.
We’re proud to have invested in new machinery and vehicles which are not only more environmentally friendly but which will ensure a long-term future of reliable service. In addition, we utilise technology for remote start and shut down of the factory which means that we only have our machinery running when necessary. This, in turn, enables our people and resources to operate at maximum efficiency.
Sustainable Farming & Packaging
When it comes to packaging, we’re doing all we can to use sustainable practices. Our bottled milk is packed in cardboard boxes which are made from recycled cardboard. These boxes are then recycled either by our customers or we bail returns onsite for recycling. By using cardboard boxes instead of traditional milk crates, our trucks can be fully utilised. Rather than simply returning to the farm with empty crates, we can also collect back other items such as pallets of bottles and new boxes. In addition, using cardboard boxes instead of crates means we don’t have to worry about the high level of sanitisation required for the crates to re-enter the bottling line.
But it’s not just our packaging that’s sustainable; we also bail soft plastics such as pallet wrap that’s not recyclable via our regular commingled recycling bin. By bailing these plastics, we can send them directly to the recycling centre for recycling. In the future, our milk bottles will also be collected and bailed in this way so that they can be returned to virgin resin and back into new milk bottles. It will be a very exciting day for us when that’s possible.