image of mild beiing poured South Coast Dairy

Our History

The objective in setting up the Berry Rural Cooperative Society Limited was for the farmers to own and manage their own cooperative to receive cream from district farms and to sell it in a manufactured form to receive the best returns.

The Berry Central Creamery was built on the present factory site in 1895 and was equipped with the most modern machinery available at that time to manufacture butter. In 1900, the Berry Creamery became the first factory in NSW to adopt pasteurisation of cream for manufacture into butter.

In 1913, the factory was extended and equipped to sell milk to an expanding Sydney marketplace. The milk market grew quickly, eventually eclipsing butter as the main product with the outcome that butter manufacturing finally ceased in 1958.

Can milk delivery was replaced by tanker collection of farm refrigerated milk in 1968. Three 8.000 litre tankers owned and operated by the cooperative collected all milk. These were later replaced with 11,300 litre tankers.

The volume of milk handled at the factory increased considerably in 1976 with a peak annual milk intake of 22 million litres but as the 1980s dawned, a downward trend developed. Farm milk quotas were reduced and spiralling land prices enabled many dairy farmers to sell their properties.

From September 1991 milk was able to be picked up from the farms in the cooperative’s tankers and delivered direct to the Australian Cooperative Foods Limited factory in Bomaderry. The laboratory for the testing and grading of the milk is the only part of the factory building now in use.

The most recent step in the history of this successful and long-lived cooperative is the production and supply of local milk under the SOUTH COAST DAIRY brand. This premium range of products is available right across the South Coast region and, of course, from Berry itself.

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