15 years ago a company called ‘Camperdown Compost’ was established in Camperdown, located in that heartland. Since 2008 Camperdown Compost has been leading the way in developing and enhancing a ‘biological’ or ‘regenerative’ farming method with innovative dairy farmers, that sees farms improve their waste management standards to best practice, recycle that waste, create compost on farm (a natural, organic fertilizer), replace synthetic fertilizer, pesticides and insecticides, reduce farms carbon footprint significantly and return the soil to a healthier, natural state. In plain speak move back to grass roots.
In turn, the healthier soil created leads to healthier, more nutritious crops as input i.e. grass and healthier primary produce, in this case, fresh milk.
During this same period a group of Dairy farmers, were independently exploring better ways to farm with a gut feeling that conventional (chemical based) farming methods just weren’t working. Even though they are some of the district’s leading farmers they found themselves dealing with issues of shallow root depth as a result shorter growing seasons, increased costs, toxicity in pasture due to synthetic fertilizer, animal health issues, pest and insect pressure, lack of soil quality. After each conducted their own independent research, they shifted to this sustainable farming method working along side Camperdown Compost.
Even though the science said it would work, this shift to a better way of farming was a huge risk. Farmers had to move from the known to the unknown, from practices that had been ingrained over years to test a new method hoping for better results on farm and better quality produce. It was a challenge. It took commitment and courage to make the move to sustainable, regenerative practices. It also took a significant investment and the chance that it wouldn’t work.
Through research, commitment, working together and a little trial and error, the results have been dramatic. The farms reduced their carbon footprint significantly, reducing synthetic fertilizer use by up to 80% & 90%, seeing soil health including worms, the right bacteria / fungi and long, deep roots return and vet bills decrease as stock roam healthier pastures.
This style of farming incorporates the best of organics and conventional or modern farming practices. We are conscious of Mother Nature, working with her rather than against.
Over time, the farmers that made this choice and investment began discussing how they could create their own brand of milk for the benefit of consumers and as a means to create a more sustainable financial future for themselves and their families after a very difficult period in the dairy industry.
They were aware their green, healthier, quality produce was going in the same pool of milk as farms still using conventional, chemical farming methods. Surely there was a way to get this better produce out there?
They discussed how they could have their commodity stand out, how they get it from their farms to the kitchen tables of other Australians, how could they do this for themselves to see a better return on their farms and at the same time provide city families with a healthy product to enjoy.
In February 2013, these casual discussions were formalized with a group of 10 committed parties, including five farming families who retain majority shareholding, coming together to create Green Pastures Movement.
We hope you’ll support and join us.