It was the early 80s when brothers William and Grant Crothers first floated the idea of moving out of liquid milk and onto the international stage with manufacturing milk.
At that time they were based in Shepparton running Midland Milk, a liquid milk plant that had been in the family for 45 years, processed 35 million litres a year and employed around 50 people.
The intention was to incorporate Gippsland Dairy Products, a small yoghurt and cheese factory purchased in 1987 and operating in Baywater, into the operation but after a couple of years of facing 18% interest rates, the dream was not happening. So when Bonlac came knocking, they decided to sell.
It was a tough decision, but within the year the brothers had found what was then a rambling, empty old factory with a lot of potential called Korumburra Butter Factory.
By mid-1991, they were in and Burra Foods was on its way. With little more than five or six people, some potentially wonderful, but very run down infrastructure and a small toe in the fromage frais dairy dessert line, it certainly was exciting times.
Since then Burra Foods has developed and expanded to meet the growing demand of what was until recently a mainly South East Asian market.
This all changed in 2009 when a partnership with the Japanese based trading company, Itochu Corporation, was established and made possible the build and commissioning of a multi-million dollar milk dryer facility.
The new facility produces superior product and has opened doors to the far wider and more lucrative high end dry milk product market expanding across Asia and the Middle East.
Other significant developments in recent years have seen Burra Foods lay an underground power cable from Leongatha to the benefit of both the business and the town of Korumburra, while the establishment of a new effluent plant has not only significantly reduced odour issues to well below acceptable levels, but has enabled water to be recycled back into the local creek.
It doesn’t stop there, with plans to further grow and improve the business, Burra Foods certainly intends to continue to make history.
For more information about Burra Foods, contact:
General Manager Commercial
Mobile +61 (0) 400 136 540