Wednesday, 30 October 2019 09:55

Wood, sugarcane packs for milk

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Brownes Dairy is the first Australian company to sell milk in renewable cartons. Brownes Dairy is the first Australian company to sell milk in renewable cartons.

Australia's oldest dairy company will be selling milk and other products in renewable cartons from next month.

Brownes Dairy, Western Australia’s biggest processor, is ditching fossil fuel derived, plastic lined milk cartons for sugarcane and wood -- a first for the Australian dairy industry.

Brownes Dairy chief executive Tony Girgis told Dairy News that from the end of November, most products will appear in Tetra Pak’s bio based board cartons made entirely from wood fibre and sugar cane.

Girgis says the move is part of the company’s sustainable strategy aimed at reducing its environmental footprint through innovation. Over the years, Brownes Dairy has reduced the use of plastic in packaging, milk wastage during processing and use of cardboard.

Girgis says when Tetra Pak approached the company with the new milk carton technology, “we decided to give it a crack”.

“There is a lot of emphasis on the importance of recycling, but less focus on how we can make products more sustainable from the beginning: we wanted to improve the sustainability of our packaging across the entire lifecycle of our products.” 

While making the change to bio based milk cartons, integrity of product has been paramount.

“We have tested the bio based board repeatedly to ensure our product quality, product freshness and food safety are fully maintained,” said Girgis. The company has received mostly positive feedback so far.

He says farmer suppliers are also happy supplying milk to a progressive company focussing on sustainability.

Brownes Dairy will switch 25 of its milk carton products to the new sustainable packaging – about 17.8 million milk cartons per year. Products include fresh milk, flavoured milk and creams.

 “Brownes Dairy scoured the planet in search of the best sustainable packaging on the market. Making the switch to sugarcane is not only better for the environment, but now our consumers can trust the package is made from raw, plant based materials,” said Girgis.

Tetra Pak has supplied at least 500 million renewable packs since its bio based board was introduced to dairy by the Finnish brand Valio in 2015.

Brownes Dairy will be the first company in Australia to integrate the renewable cartons across its entire milk carton range, and “proud to be the first company in Australia to embrace this new environmentally friendly packaging,” Girgis said.

Brownes Dairy has been owned by Chinese dairy giant Shanghai Ground Food Tech since 2017. It was started in 1886 by farmer Edward Browne.

The company collects about 150m litres of milk, which is 42% of the state’s total supply, and has 53 farmer suppliers.

Brownes Dairy makes fresh milk for sale within WA: products with longer shelf life are sold in other states and exported, mostly to Asia.

The company’s product range includes fresh milk, flavoured milk, cream, yoghurt and dairy desserts.

More like this

Freshwater plan a killer blow

A national limit on dissolved nitrogen would “essentially eliminate” intensive agriculture in the Selwyn Waihora catchment, says Environment Canterbury chief scientist Dr Tim Davie.

Tree protest this week

The protest group ‘50 Shades of Green’ is organising a march on Parliament this week to try and stop good farmland being covered in pine trees.

Saving us from ourselves

OPINION: The Government's policy to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand is working directly against the goals of the Paris Accord.

» The RNG Weather Report

Featured

No threat to farming from forestry

OPINION: There’s some agitation out there at the moment about farming being under threat from forestry. Much of what’s circulating is based on misinformation so it’s time to lay out the facts.

 

Women’s stories inspire many

Storytelling will help attract, retain and inspire the next generation in dairy farming, says Jules Benton, Dairy Women’s Network chief executive.

Pride is making a big comeback

Pride is returning to the dairy industry, says the new chair of Dairy Women’s Network, Karen Forlong, a Central Plateau farmer.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Angry as usual

The usual culprits are angry at hearing last week that the Government and the agri sector will work together to…

Vladimir the dairy farmer

Russian President Vladimir Putin is a master tactician in taking advantage of international conflicts.

» Connect with Dairy News