FOUNDEDSteve Ronalds had always been a tough farmer until a
motorbike accident in November 2015. This accident left
him with broken bones, punctured lungs and short-term
memory loss, which meant he was unable to milk cows for
eight months. Steve felt vulnerable for the first time in his
life as a farmer.
Tragedy struck again when Sallie’s father committed
suicide at his Lakes Entrance dairy farm, and the dairy
industry faced a crisis when Murray Goulburn reduced the
price paid to farmers for their milk.
Steve and Sallie found themselves at a crossroads,
wondering how to add value to their Jersey milk, produce
it sustainably, and support struggling farmers.
Gippsland Jersey was founded as a solution to these
challenges, bringing together Steve and Sallie’s farming
backgrounds to produce exceptional milk while supporting
Gippsland Jersey’s approach sets them apart. They
work with smaller family-owned dairy farms that have
exceptional dairy farmers and pay them a fair price for
their top-quality local jersey milk. This enables them to
bypass large milk processors and create value-added
By keeping the manufacturing process regional, they
support the local economy and make a positive impact on
rural mental health by prioritizing emotional well-being
and promoting suicide prevention among dairy farmers
who might be struggling.
The brand’s philosophy rests on
three fundamental pillars:
1. Ensuring that farmers are paid a fair price.
2. Tackling the stigma associated with mental health and
suicide prevention in rural areas.
3. Practising kindness, which they believe is the most
valuable attribute you can possess.
GIPPSLAND JERSEY 2.0: INNOVATING TO CHANGE THE GAME
The Gippsland Jersey journey hasn't been smooth sailing. Just 18 months after starting up, the contract milk processor decided they wouldn’t process the milk anymore. However, this setback was turned into an opportunity by a crowdfunding campaign where people were asked to pre-purchased bottles of milk to help fund the breathing of new life into Sallie's Dad's dilapidated factory in Lakes Entrance so that the milk could be processed in house on their own terms.
THE MODERN MILKMAN/WOMAN CHANGING THE INDUSTRY
Now that the Lakes Entrance processing facility has been operating successfully for a number of years, Gippsland Jersey has been able to be innovating continuously to meet demand for delicious and fair value-added dairy products. With much energy, a creative and a collaborative spirit, the now much bigger team has been creating new products, and finding new markets. And it's paying off, with lots of growth and we now have four local dairy farming families supplying Gippsland Jersey with their delicious and premium milk.
This is just the first of many chapters to come of the Gippsland Jersey story. With an ongoing commitment to premium jersey milk products that ensures everyone in the chain is respected. From the dedicated farmers to the amazing shops selling or serving them Gippsland Jersey is not just about milk, but also about promoting a fair and sustainable industry, mental health and suicide prevention, and spreading kindness..
And did you know that jersey milk has some amazing benefits? Find out more here