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QCamel Camel Dairy

Photo by Dan Wood

Interview with – Lauren Brisbane of QCamel Camel Dairy.

Lauren and Peter Brisbane researched producing camel milk and its viability and after working in the industry for nine years, established QCamel Camel Dairy in Queensland. Known as ‘white gold’, camel milk commands a premium price and offers many health benefits. With a daily yield of just five litres of precious milk per camel, these farmers are breaking new markets with a very new Australian product.

“Known as white gold, camel milk is a rare, high-end product .”

It’s not the obvious choice when you think of milk production, but we’ve seen so many people suffer with cattle here, the conditions are so harsh, you need to be incredibly resourceful in your thinking. Whilst camels are easier to farm, milking can be really unpredictable, but we love the challenge. Every drop we get is like liquid white gold and retails for upwards of $25 per litre.

“I believe that the many health benefits of ‘white gold’ could be seen to out-weigh the cost.”

This milk is of immediate benefit to the lactose intolerant. And because of its chemical make-up, it’s known to fight disease and infection in the digestive system. It’s also been hailed as a potential treatment to reverse some forms of Autism. Incredible stuff, we work very closely with the Autism and Gut centre in Brisbane who advocate that all their clients use camel milk.

“Camels are highly intelligent and easy to train.”

We’ve had a lot of experience with horses, but camels, they’re at another evolutionary level. They live in a matriarchal society, each respecting their role. They are incredibly nurturing and protective of their herd. I really think we’re now considered part of that herd, we milk through a mutual respect and trust.

“We were founding members of the Camel Milk Industry Association.”

As the second ever camel dairy established and first on the east coast, we have been part of the Camel Industry Association since its inception in 2010. This organisation offers a regulatory body for food production in a very young market and helps new operators navigate their way through the health and safety regulations involved. We take our responsibility around this very seriously. We sell pasteurised milk to the public and to third party artisan producers, who use it for cheese and curds. With a close knit team of co-workers, we currently farm 50 camels, milking 15 each day, with a daily yield of about 30 litres in total.

“I love the Camels and really miss them when I’m not there.”

Our goal is to strengthen our business and really get the opportunity to share our rich resource with the world. It’s important to keep building the industry and encourage the new Australian camel milk businesses coming through.