Farm fresh and organic
Based in the beautiful Adelaide Hills of South Australia, B.-d. Farm Paris Creek is one of the nation’s finest producers of dairy products. Their range of milk, yogurt, quark, butter and handcrafted cheeses are made from the highest quality, premium, biodyanmic milk. At every stage of production, they avoid the use of homogenisation, artificial ingredients such as colours and flavours, or anything that would interfere with the quality promise of their products and they aim to provide the best possible health benefits for their organic-conscious customers.
“Our point of difference starts in the soil, and continues in the seed production, herd management, and processing” says Ulli Spranz, who owns the company alongside her husband Helmut. “There’s nothing artificial in our land, our animals, or our product. No fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides and GMO’s on the land, and no antibiotics or hormones on the animals.”
Owning a totally biodynamic farm has been a life-time dream of both Ulli and Helmut, and they were both well qualified to follow that dream. In their home country of Germany, Helmut earned an Engineering Degree in Agriculture. And Ulli – a graphic designer – worked on different farms in Germany and Switzerland to gain practical experience.
“Food is one of the most important things in your life, along with air and water,” Ulli says, explaining what drew them to the concept. “We wanted to give our family a healthy lifestyle away from the city and we aimed to produce the best quality, healthiest food possible. And in this, we wanted to make our products available to other families and consumers who value healthy, organic and natural dairy products.”
The Spranz family – including their first two children Krischan and Siri – migrated to Australia in 1998, hoping to find land that fit their vision. A year later, their dream was realised with the discovery of 170 “perfect acres” at Paris Creek, South Australia.
“Imagine: green meadows with flourishing herbs and flowers, bordered by forests amongst rolling hills, and the most beautiful valley with a pristine creek” Ulli says, describing the land as they found it. “It was the home of healthy cows enjoying their days under blue sunny skies, fresh rains and the occasional umbrella of rainbow – a combination which creates an essential well balanced environment.”
The land was more than beautiful – since the previous owners were environmentally aware, it was also free of chemicals. This made it a prime location for good milk production.
The business started producing a small quantity of milk for families that wanted to purchase from farm gate and local health food store, but demand for their biodynamic, unpasteurised and non-homogenised milk grew rapidly in South Australia. On the back of that success, B.-d. Farm Paris Creek soon introduced quark and natural yoghurt to their range of products. They also grew their herd, purchased more land, and expanded their staff and manufacturing facilities. Sales eventually spread to all the mainland states of Australia, and the company even began exporting overseas.
By 2001, the business expanded to include a new production plant, and in 2007 they evolved their product line to include flavoured milk and a creamier style of yogurt – called the Indulgence Range. Those products proved to be successful with dairy industry judges, as well as consumers. A year later, Helmut and Ulli expanded again, building a state-of-the-art cheesery and introducing a range of French-style soft cheeses and European-style hard cheeses into their product line.
B.-d. Farm Paris Creek’s ranges of products are all biodynamic and organically produced. They are completely free of genetic modification, thickeners, artificial colours and flavours, and bleached industrial sugars and salts.
Their quark and yoghurts feature a delicate blend of natural cultures. Their milk is produced from cows that graze on lush pastures, and is carefully pasteurised but not homogenised in order to “retain the goodness of natural milk.” They also don’t put their milk through any ultra-high-temperature (UHT) processing. In general – and within all legal parameters – they provide the most natural dairy product possible.
“B.-d. Farm Paris Creek is a farm of pure nature, and pure nature is the taste of our products,” Ulli says. “That goes for our natural yoghurt, our range of fruit yoghurts, our delicious quark and cheese selections, for our naturally flavoured milks, basically it is evident in all of our products.”
Over the years, B.-d. Farm Paris Creek has built up a loyal following of consumers , who include health-conscious families and individuals of all ages. Young and organic-minded consumers are consistently drawn to the brand, as are elderly buyers who “remember products as they used to be, before artificial ingredients and over processing” – and who recognise that quality in the award winning B.-d. Farm Paris Creek range of dairy products.
B.-d. Farm Paris Creek sells their product through a variety of channels, and to a variety of clients. They deal with selected independent supermarkets, smaller chains and Woolworths on a national level, work with Coles on a state level, and partner with distributors who operate across the country. They also supply to h restaurants and cafes, and various export clients who they deal with both directly or through consolidators.
B.-d. Farm Paris Creek also sells directly to small retail shops and farmers markets, particularly in South Australia. They highly value that smaller platform, as it gives them a direct connection to their end-user, which is useful for soliciting feedback and learning what customers are looking for in new products.
“We have a fairly broad spectrum of customers,” Ulli says. “Our company policy is to do whatever it takes to get the product to the consumers.”
Over the years, B.-d. Farm Paris Creek has been consistently rewarded for their dedication to producing high quality products. Since 1997, the company has won well over 50 industry accolades from respected bodies like the Australian Grand Dairy Awards, the Dairy Industry Association Awards, the Organic Expo Awards, the Premier Food Awards and more. The company was even named “Most Award Winning SA Food Business.”
B.-d. Farm’s dedication to running a business that cares for employees and the environment has also not gone unnoticed. Ulli herself has been personally named Asian Pacific Business Woman of the Year, Rural Business Woman of the Year for South Australia, and was a finalist in the Telstra Business Women Awards.
Nurturing the future
Moving forward, Ulli says the company’s goal is to continue to grow and increase their capacity, but without ever compromising their quality or principles. They also hope to continue spreading their knowledge and ideals, as they have been doing for a number of years, and they hope to get more neighboring farms on board who have shown an interest in their activities.
Following the deregulation of the dairy industry, many farms in the area struggled. They saw that B.-d. Farm Paris Creek was developing and expanding, however, and took note of their lush pastures and healthy cows. They were curious about the biodynamic farming methods that were leading them to success, and approached Ulli and Helmut for help converting. After those farms achieved certification, B.-d. Farm began using them as suppliers.
“Year by year, we took more farms on,” Ulli recalls. “We now have eight supplying dairy farms, with whom we have healthy and longstanding relationships. Producing milk is hard work, and it’s not easy these days, so we value those partners and we value their supply. .”
“We support those dairy farms so that families can have a life on them, and so their children have something to take over when they grow up,” she adds. “Those are the future of the dairy industry, and we want them to develop into good, modern and knowledgeable farmers. And farming is a very good lifestyle, as long as these families can survive comfortably.”
“That’s one of our goals for the future,” she says. “We want to keep farmers farming, and we want to keep producing the highest quality, healthy products and in this, preserve the country and soil.”
“One of our big projects for the next 12 months is to upgrade our manufacturing plant and become the most energy efficient company in South Australia,” she adds.
B.-d. Farm Paris Creek is one of only a few companies that have received the Clean Energy Grant, which will help achieve this goal. The different components of this project are solar electricity, solar hot water and dramatically improved process efficiencies.
“This is an extremely exciting time for us and we are looking forward to finishing this project,” she concludes. “We’re looking forward to providing dairy products that can be consumed knowing that they will well and truly be environmentally friendly, sustainable and be of the best health-quality possible – and at the same time, support dairy farmers directly.”
For more information, please visit their website at: B.-d. Farm Paris Creek
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