If you've visited a cafe in central Victoria there's a chance you've noticed Inglenook Dairy's iconic milk cartons.
For the last eight years, the family-owned and operated milk processor at Dunnstown, near Ballarat, has built a loyal following throughout the region.
What started as a small-scale operation has steadily gained momentum in recent years with plans to expand its output and support more farmers within 12 months.
Troy and Rachael Peterken founded Inglenook Dairy to process Mrs Peterken's parents' milk in 2011.
Her family had been dairying on the site for more than 100 years.
"It took us two years to build and construct and then we launched our brand with 500 litres for our first production run," Mr Peterken said.
"Eight years down the track we're averaging about 25,000 litres a week, and growing."
At a time when farmers are shifting away from dairy and the industry faces increasing uncertainty, Inglenook Dairy is injecting a boost of confidence and reassurance to the changing sector.
We want to support the dairy industry and if people want to sell their farms, we want them to sell their farms for their own personal reasons, not out of necessity.Troy Peterken, Inglenook Dairy managing director
"In the last 12 months I've noticed where different suppliers are going and how people are trying to manage their raw milk supply because people are leaving the dairy industry in droves."
The processor receives its milk four times a week from an independent supplier at Learmonth who runs a herd of 400-450 Friesian/Jersey cows.
Milk is then processed into three forms and dispatched from the plant with a shelf life of 17 days due to its freshness.
"We've got unhomogenised milk which is the old fashioned milk where the cream rises to the top - it's still pasteurised but it's not put through the machine to homogenise it - and that's become very popular with cafes," Mr Peterken said.
"Then we do the low fat milk which also has a very good following as well because it still has that full flavoured body taste but it's reduced in fat and then we've got the full cream homogenised as well."
Within 12 months, Inglenook Dairy is expected to expand its capacity to produce butter.
"With the high quality cream we've got, the butter is fantastic," Mr Peterken said.
"We've ordered a butter churn which is expected to be here in February so we'll process salted, unsalted and cultured butter."
-Stock and Land
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