Food Manufacturing | case study
FRENCH STYLE CHEESE WITH AN AUSTRALIAN IDENTITY
Based at The Mill Castlemaine / Mount Alexander Shire, Long Paddock Cheese has been creating handmade cheeses – mainly in the French style but with a definite Australian identity – since 2021. Globally-renowned master cheesemakers, Ivan and Julie Larcher, head a small-but-skilled team producing soft and semi-hard cheeses. The couple moved from France to take up the opportunity with Long Paddock and its sister-business, The Cheese School, which offers professional artisan cheesemaking and other dairy training.
Long Paddock Cheese and The Cheese School share a vision for Australia’s artisan dairy industry to fully develop and fly. “We want the boutique end of the Australian dairy industry to become as successful as Australia’s high-quality boutique wine, coffee, olive oil and craft beer industries,” says Alison Lansley. The companies are highly innovative, importing equipment and techniques not otherwise available in Australia; and investing in and developing software to create a practical digital system of record keeping and traceability for artisan food production and sale. Sustainability is also a major focus for the business. All their power is renewable and they minimise production waste by collecting whey (the liquid from cheesemaking), which is then used by a local ethical pork producer.
Long Paddock Cheese has a vision to be leaders in artisan dairy in Australia and beyond. Their mission is to take quality milk from sustainable farming practices and, through innovation and collaboration, produce world-leading cheeses and other artisan dairy products as well as excel in developing training, product, practice and people.
A skilled, stable, passionate workforce
“Many talented people previously based in Melbourne or elsewhere have chosen to move to this region.”
Surrounded by like-minded businesses
“We love to collaborate and cross-sell, and the area attracts a lot of tourists.”
Improving the wider industry
Developing software that will transform record keeping and traceability for artisan food production.
Why Loddon Mallee?
LOCAL FEEL, GLOBAL OUTLOOK
Castlemaine is the perfect location for artisan food production with its vibrant food culture and arts scene encouraging innovation and collaboration with like-minded small-scale producers.
“We specifically chose Castlemaine,” says Alison Lansley. “It’s perfect for our business in several ways. We were able to find skilled local trades for the build and fit-out of our operations, and either local people for our team, or people willing to travel or even move from Melbourne to join us. The local community has been very welcoming and keen to engage with us. Our landlord at The Mill Castlemaine was also keen to attract us as tenants, and has assisted in all sorts of practical ways.”
“The area has excellent tourism-related infrastructure for a business like ours. The train service between Bendigo, Castlemaine and Melbourne is excellent, the drive from Melbourne or the airport is short, easy and attractive, and there are great places for accommodation, eating out, browsing, visiting and shopping.”
“Castlemaine enables us to collaborate with other like-minded small-scale producers, as well as recruiting a loyal following of local customers. It’s a great base from which to build a business that’s local in feel, but global in outlook.”
– Alison Lansley, Managing Director
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