Riverina Fresh explains how its regional roots define the company’s values and commitment to making the best possible dairy milk product.
According to Riverina Fresh, to make the perfect cup of coffee, you need the right milk, which is something the Australian-owned dairy and food service business prides itself on.
Riverina Fresh General Manager of Manufacturing Brenton Smith says the company strives to meet the needs of the cafés it services.
“With our milk, we work extremely close with our farmers,” he says. “We make sure that their milk is at a consistently high standard and that it is delivered to the factory as soon as possible.
“The quality of the milk is the key to everything and ensures that we have an exceptional raw product from the farm, which we can then manufacture to the highest standard.”
Brenton adds that every decision Riverina Fresh makes for its milk is done with coffee drinkers and baristas top of mind. Just as consistency is a focal point for cafés, it is the same priority for the milk Riverina Fresh produces.
“We make sure that all the proteins and fats in our milk is the same in every bottle, which means our customers know they will always get the same taste and consistency,” he says.
“With each batch of milk that we make, we individually test the frothing results of the milk to make sure it produces the same results on a consistent basis throughout the year.”
These tests include frothing the milk under different circumstances to ensure it can handle any requests the barista or customer may have.
Brenton highlights how a large segment of café customers are lactose intolerant and have struggled to find a dairy-based product that is lactose-free.
“A lot of coffee drinkers only go to plant-based milks because they are lactose intolerant,” Brenton says. “We offer a full- cream lactose-free milk, which is available to cafés through our food service business. It’s also available for retail customers in many Woolworths supermarkets across New South Wales and Victoria.”
The lactose-free milk, like all other Riverina Fresh products, undergoes a rigorous testing process before it is deemed good enough to be released to the public.
During the 2023 World Barista Championships in Athens, Riverina Fresh was able to send its lactose-free milk to be used on the international stage. The company worked with Australian representative and third-place winner Jack Simpson in the lead-up to the competition, specifically on his milk blends.
Brenton is looking forward to further collaborations with baristas and cafés as Riverina Fresh continues its journey for innovation in the specialty coffee sector.
The company still produces milk at the same manufacturing site it started with more than a century ago at its Wagga Wagga factory, located in the heart of the Riverina in regional New South Wales.
Co-owner and Director of Riverina Fresh Craig Shapiro adds that being an integral part of the regional community is a critical aspect of the company’s mission.
“To have a business that’s been based in the same area for such a long time is so important to us,” he says.
While Riverina Fresh has offices and teams based in Melbourne and Sydney, the company remains, at its core, a regionally- based business with almost 100 employees located in Wagga Wagga. Craig says this is a great boost for the local economy.
“Having a manufacturing industry and ongoing investment in regional communities is critical for the sustainability of our region,” he says.
“As soon as you start moving some of these manufacturing industries out of regional economies, it has a significant flow on impact on regional jobs and businesses. We remain committed to the Riverina region.
“We’re extremely proud of being from the Riverina and 100 per cent Australian owned.”
For more information, visit www.riverinafresh.com.au
This article appears in the December 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.