Beautiful Australia: Why Australia Is the Perfect Place for Dairy Farming
Australia is known for its sprawling landscapes, impactful culture, and unique flora and fauna. But did you know the “Land Down Under” is also a prime location for dairy farming?
This beautiful country boasts over 5,700 dairy farms that contribute significantly to the national and global economy. With the ideal climate of the southeast seaboard, the region’s rich biodiversity, and the ongoing sustainability efforts of local farmers, discover why beautiful Australia is the perfect place for dairy farming — and why Old Croc’s “aussome” cheeses are so uniquely delicious.
The past and present of Australian dairy farming
Australia’s first dairy cows arrived in 1788, the year the First Fleet traveled from England to New South Wales. In six short years, the two bulls and seven cows would become a herd of 61. The cows and farmers rapidly acclimated to Australia’s unique southern climate, and by 1800, the Australian dairy cow population expanded to just over 1,000.
Today, dairy farming in Australia takes place primarily across eight dairying regions: Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia, and Tasmania. Many of these regions fall along the southeast seaboard, which has a cooler climate and more rainfall than the deserts Australia is most known for.
The rich biodiversity of Australia
From iconic Australian symbols like kangaroos and koalas to the lesser-known numbats and thorny devils, there’s no shortage of unique creatures throughout Australia. In fact, The Outback is considered a megadiverse country — one of just 17 countries globally that, despite making up just 10% of the planet, account for over 70% of Earth’s biodiversity. Between 600,000 and 700,000 species call Australia home; 89% of its reptiles, 84% of plants, 83% of mammals, and 45% of birds are endemic to the region.
Biodiversity benefits agriculture by increasing pollinators, improving soil quality, and enabling the ongoing presence of species that can limit crop pests. Research has found a strong correlation between biodiversity levels and an ecosystem’s overall health and longevity.
Australian dairy farms’ commitment to responsible land management
While modern settlement and practices have affected the abundance of the area’s flora and fauna, the Australian dairy industry is taking proactive steps to minimize its environmental impact and help the region’s land and animals to thrive. For example, approximately 21% of Australia’s grazing land is considered to be at high risk of soil acidification; 17% is at moderate risk, with 63% at low risk. To mitigate this risk, some local dairy businesses are managing ground cover and soil acidity by testing and liming soils, which reduces rates of soil carbon input as well as the risk of soil erosion.
Additionally, Dairy Australia has set multiple targets within its Australian Dairy Industry Sustainability Framework to manage land responsibly. These include preserving waterways, implementing various biodiversity action plans, and striving for net zero deforestation. In support of this, local farmers have been planting trees to benefit the land and local animals, rehabilitating creeks to restore biodiversity, leveraging dairy effluent (liquid waste) to reduce fertilizer use, and implementing regenerative farming practices to keep water in the landscape.
These are just some of the sustainable practices that help Australian dairy farms (and their cows) to thrive, creating the best possible product while also limiting the impact on the local environment.
Why Old Croc’s Australian cows produce the best milk
Beautiful Australia provides the perfect environment for Old Croc’s dairy cows. In turn, our cows produce the highest quality milk, which results in a uniquely delicious cheddar.
Here at Old Croc, our cows graze on natural grass and forage-based feeds. The resulting milk is known as grass-fed milk (also known as grassmilk). Grass-fed milk comes with a host of nutritional advantages, including a healthy and balanced profile of omega-3 fatty acids, higher levels of Vitamin E and beta carotene, and higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). This, along with Australia’s ban on steroidal hormones in dairy farming, makes Old Croc’s dairy products an all-natural and healthier alternative to other cheeses.
Of course, our cheese isn’t just good for you; it tastes great, too. Whether you’re looking for the satisfying “bite” of our extra-sharp cheddar or the distinctive flavor of our smoked cheddar, there’s an Old Croc product for every palate and occasion.
Want to try the Old Croc Cheddar difference? Discover our full line of grass-fed milk cheddars, available in grocery storesacross the U.S. and Canada.