Note: Since the taking of the photos seen here this property has been sold to a gentleman with plans to activate the space via mixed use business development. It is also this mans current residence. Please do not attempt access as you will likely be shot.
The abandoned dairy factory
In the mid 1950s, The United Cooperative of Dairymen (later Dairy Vale) built this factory in the middle of rich South Australian dairy country. At that time, milk was carted in 40 litre dairy cans but within ten years the industry had progressed to carting milk in bulk via tankers. The factory was the processing plant for homogenisation and pasteurisation as well as the manufacturer of all dairy products such as cream, cheese, yogurt and powdered milk. An on-site factory shop was established and the factory provided direct and indirect employment for the local people.
However, Dairy Vale was acquired by Dairy Farmers Cooperative Milk Company in 1993 which led to the eventual closure of this facility in 1996. In 2008, Dairy Farmers was acquired by National Foods, part of the Kirin Group of Japan. In 2009, Kirin acquired Lion Nathan with National Foods becoming Lion Dairy & Drinks Ltd.
The Current Dairy Crisis
At the beginning of each financial year, milk processors announce their milk prices and then the amount they expect it to increase by the end of that year. In July 2015, Murray Goulburn announced their price was $5.60 per kilogram of milk solids and they expected prices to increase to $6 by June 2016. However, in what seemed unrelated at the time, the European Union implemented sanctions against Russia as a result of the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH-17 which caused Russia to ban all imports from the European Union and Australia. The result was a huge glut of dairy product in both the European and Australian markets which forced the price of milk down to below $5. This, coupled with the power of the Australian supermarket duopoly of Coles and Woolworths, had a devastating effect upon the local dairy industry.
The moral of the story – buy local. Or expect more photos of abandoned farms and dairies.
South Australian local/independent dairy brands:
Adelaide Hills Dairies, Alexandrina Cheese Company, B.D. Farm Paris Creek, Barossa Valley Cheese Company, Fleurieu Milk & Yoghurt Company, Golden North, Hindmarsh Valley Dairy, Jersey Fresh, La Casa Del Formaggio, Moo Premium Foods, Nippy’s, Robe Dairy, SADA Fresh Milk, Tweedvale Milk, Udder Delights.