- Are you still South Australian owned?The company that owns Paris Creek Farms, Maggie Beer Holdings Pty Ltd, has its registered head office in Melbourne for administrative convenience but, being a listed company, it is owned nationally by people from all over Australia. Importantly, all our products are made from bio-dynamic milk farmed and owned by South Australians, and all our products are made in our facility at Paris Creek, providing economic benefits that flow from investment in a thriving business in the state. Additionally, the factory leadership team at Paris Creek continues to be run in South Australia by our South Australian team. The original founders remain a crucial part of the business as shareholders within Maggie Beer Holdings Pty Ltd and actively recruit South Australian farmer to grow our business into the future.
- Are your products made in South Australia?
We are happy to reassure you that 100% of the wholly bio-dynamic-organic milk we use across our products is sourced entirely from South Australian farmers.
- What’s the difference between organic and bio-dynamic farming?
Simply put, if an activity or input is not allowed in organic, it’s not allowed in bio-dynamic. Both farming methods forbid the use of chemical pesticides as this facilitates plant production of their own antioxidants to fight pests and diseases. Both methods do not permit genetically modified organisms.
So all bio-dynamic farms are organic, but they go a step further, emphasising biodiversity, crop rotation, greenhouse management, animal welfare, and soil fertility management. Bio-dynamic farms are also much more restricted in the amount of external materials, for instance organic fertiliser, they can use. This is because the underlying principle of a true bio-dynamic farm is to be self-sufficient and build soil fertility naturally from within.
- How does bio-dynamic farming support a holistic approach to agriculture?
A central tenet of bio-dynamic farming is that the farm as a whole should be viewed as an organism (in other words holistically), and therefore it should be a largely self-sustaining system, producing its own manure and animal feed. In the bio-dynamic view, diseases of animals and plants on the farm are considered as the symptoms of problems in the ‘whole-of-farm organism’.
Consider that there’s a problem with soil fertility on a farm. A conventional farmer might solve this using chemical fertiliser. An organic farmer might use organic fertiliser. A bio-dynamic farmer would say, ‘What is lacking in my farm system that it is unable to create the vitality it needs? How can I create that within the farm itself?’ Well not simply by the addition of animal manures.
If you think about it, there can be no more nutrition in manure than there was in the pasture the animals grazed on, less what they themselves took out to grow. And neither does manure build soil structure by itself. So while animal manures are good, they’re not whole answer.
The key difference is that the bio-dynamic farmer is looking for ways for the soil to improve its fertility ‘by itself’ through simple but effective natural management. Maybe he or she tries composting, green manures, or growing crops that’ll really put nutrients back into the soil. They use the natural on-farm preparations suggested by the inventor of the bio-dynamic method, the philosopher Rudolph Steiner in 1924.
It takes time to build soil quality this way, but once it’s achieved, that soil produces better crop yields and is naturally self-sustaining, whereas some modern agricultural practice can be self-depleting.
- How do bio-dynamic farms promote biodiversity?
Bio-dynamic farms promote biodiversity in a number of ways. First, land is never left barren between crops because bare soil loses water and fertility. This usually results in bio-dynamic farms rotating crops with a variety of plantings that help put nutrition back into the soil. This in turn promotes different types of insects above ground and microbes below. Some of these rotations will be flowering plants and this helps attract and sustain native bees. The natural habitat on these farms, like creeks and stands of trees, are protected and this in turn promotes diversity in bird life, small native animals and water life. Finally, since bio-dynamic farms are striving to be self sufficient, one usually finds that in addition to the dairy cows there will be chickens, an odd goat or two to do the weeding, maybe some sheep and perhaps ducks.
- How does bio-dynamic farming support the environment?
Primarily, bio-dynamic farmers strive to be self-sufficient and they are very restricted in the amounts of outside materials they can use on the farm. This directly cuts down on truck movements for feed and organic fertiliser. With an emphasis on the constant improvement of soil from within the farms own resources, the internal health of plants, animals and soil structures on bio-dynamic farms are environmentally sound because they are designed to be self-sustaining.
Many scientists are pointing to bio-dynamic farming as a part of the holistic solution to global warming. One way bio-dynamic farmers reduce their carbon footprint is through a practice called cover farming. This means covering ‘bare’ soil with other crops between harvest seasons. This is particularly good for conserving soil moisture, which in turn improves soil structure and stability over time. Cover crops also convert nitrogen gas in the atmosphere into soil nitrogen that plants can use. If more farmers practiced bio-dynamic farming, pulling more carbon out of the air, then this would be a positive step in the fight against global warming.
- What are the benefits of bio-dynamic foods for you?
Clearly, the thing that stands out in bio-dynamic food production is the absence of artificial chemicals to aid growth, yields and the ‘look’ of the crop. So, the first thing you know for sure is that you’re eating healthy food. It has clear provenance and it mostly avoids food miles because it’s almost certainly locally grown and it’s ‘in season’.
Many people say that food grown without chemicals just tastes better and your taste buds can be the judge of that.
As for organic/bio-dynamic being more nutritious, the scientific jury is still out. But we’d say that great tasting food grown naturally might just be better for you than food that isn’t. That’s why at Paris Creek Farms we produce bio-dynamic foods wherever we can, and organic where that’s not possible. Either way it’s Food for Purists.
- What is In-Conversion milk?
It takes three years to convert a conventional farm to a bio-dynamic-organic farm. For the first year, the farmer will be in ‘pre-certification’, which means the farmer can ready his farm for the changeover. At this time the certification body audits the farmer and the soil on his farm is tested for any chemical residues.
During this time the milk is not yet certified and is sold as conventional milk. In the second year, the farmer goes into an ‘in conversion' phase. Then he can sell his milk as 'in conversion'. After completing an 'in conversion' year and passing the strict farm audit, farmers can become fully certified.
All of our dairy suppliers are certified bio-dynamic – which is a step beyond organic and therefore our Paris Creek Farms brand is made from 100% bio-dynamic milk and is not in conversion milk.
- Do you sell raw milk?
Raw milk is milk that has not been pasteurised or otherwise treated to remove bacteria. It is currently illegal to sell or buy raw milk for human consumption anywhere in Australia. This position follows two extensive studies by Food Safety Australia & New Zealand (FSANZ) where the conclusion was that raw milk is an unsafe product and therefore should not be authorised for sale in Australia. The only raw milk products which are allowed in Australia are some hard cheeses where the process of making the cheese delivers a similar result as would happen if the milk had been pasteurised.
As a result of these regulations all our milk range is pasteurised but, as with all our products.
- What is being done to ensure the welfare of your animals?Dairy farmers are often quizzed on their animal welfare as in many areas of the world, the cows spend a lot of their lives shedded and fed grain and silage to produce milk. The farmers who supply Paris Creek farms take their animal welfare very seriously and are proud of their production systems. The cows graze outside in pasture like cows should and eat grass all day every day. Supplementary feed in the form of grain and silage can be given to supplement their diets but the farmers income is based largely on their pasture management and providing fresh grass in the paddock every day. Organic and biodynamic farmers cannot use many conventional medicines, antibiotics and chemicals so they have to be very observant and identify cows that may be sick very quickly. Early care and great breeding are paramount to a successful operation as if a cow becomes very sick and requires antibiotics, she is out of the herd and her milk cannot be used under the organic standards. Our farmers are passionate about what they do, Biodynamic farming is difficult as there are no quick fixes, all systems require a long term approach as breeding sound animals and monitoring health very closely is the key to the farms long term success. Grass is the key to growing milk and without synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, the same principle above stands for the overall health of the farm, the farmers have a huge task to keep their systems in balance. The best thing about our milk is what’s not in it, antibiotics, synthetic fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides have to be replaced with careful monitoring, good breeding and an understanding of how to keep all the farms systems in balance. Without this effort and a real passion for what they do, biodynamic farming wouldn’t work as the risks are high. This is why our milk is so good and will never be mass produced or cost $1 per litre.
- Can I visit the farm to see how the cows are getting milked?
We would love to show you the various farms around Paris Creek that supply our milk. Unfortunately, due to health, safety and insurance regulations, we are unable to allow the general public to tour our working farms.
- How do you reduce the fat content in your milk?
We use a machine called a ‘Separator’ to take the fat out of the milk.
The separator spins the milk, causing the heavier milk to be pulled outwards and the lighter cream (fat) collects in the middle. Both parts can then be collected via separate spouts.
Nothing is added to the milk because we ‘re determined to keep all processing to a minimum in order to keep the products as natural and healthy as they can be.
- Do you homogenise your milk?
Most of our milk products are now homogenised. We homogenise the milk so that the cream is evenly dispersed through the milk rather than separating and floating at the top of the milk bottle. There is still the same amount of creamy goodness, just more evenly spread. Of course we absolutely do not include permeates. But if you do prefer non-homogenised we continue to offer our beautiful natural Cream on Top Milk for you to enjoy!
This way you can decide the drink the milk variety of their preference. We hope you continue to enjoy it.
- Is the cream at the top of my milk normal?
Yes, our Cream-on-top Milk is not homogenised so therefore the cream will rise to the top. This is a very traditional way of bottling milk and it has some benefits. First you get natural cream unadulterated in any way! Next, you also get the benefit of what is called the ‘milk fat globule’ in the milk itself.
Let’s get back to cream! While some customers love the cream, not everyone does. If you do not like it, we recommend scooping out the cream with a teaspoon. Once shaken this process is a little more difficult as the cream breaks up so you may need to strain your milk.
Whatever you choose we suggest consuming the cream once removed. It is delicious on cakes or used in cooking.
- Is your yogurt non-homogenised?Our current original yogurt range is made from non-homogenised milk, however, our new yogurt range is made from homogenised milk. We do make a very special Bio-dynamic Cream-on-Top Whole Milk that is non-homogenised. It’s just like you’d expect to find it on a farmhouse kitchen table.
- Why aren’t your yogurts bio-dynamic?
We’re sorry if we have caused a little confusion here, but…
All our milk, yogurt, cheese and butter are made with bio-dynamic milk, but for our new yogurt range, we need to use a small amount of organic milk solids for texture. As a result these yogurts are labelled, correctly, as organic.
Our original range, which is available in South Australia, is fully bio-dynamic.
Oh, and we’re working to get our new range to bio-dynamic status in the future, too.
- Are your products gluten free?
Yes, all our dairy products are gluten free.
- Why are there no lactic cultures in your butter?
You may be familiar with European cultured butter and indeed culturing is common practice there. The cream has to ferment, so it takes longer before it can be made into butter, but it gives a distinctive taste.
As you have noticed, our butter uses only pure cream. We do not culture our butter, so it does not contain lactic cultures. Cultured butter has a more acidic taste and while some people prefer this style, pure unsalted butter made from pure cream without any additives at all has a slightly sweeter taste.
- Is your product imported?
All our products are made locally, at Paris Creek in South Australia, from 100% South Australian bio-dynamic milk.
The hard cheeses reflect various European regions. They have been developed by European cheese makers and are handcrafted at Paris Creek Farms.
- Where can I buy your products?
To find your closest retailer you can visit our ‘Find Nearest Retailer’ page here.
All you need to do is enter your postcode and all available listings will appear.
If you are still unable to find your closest retailer or desired product, please email our customer care team firstname.lastname@example.org for further information regarding where you'll find our products.
- Would you be interested in donating to my event/charity?
We are interested in giving back to the community, but as you might imagine we have many such requests and we must prioritise those that have a natural affinity with our business.
It would help us if you can articulate any logical connection you see between Paris Creek Farms and your charity.
Timing or duration:
Once we will some details a member of our team will reach out to you.
- Are you currently hiring?
Thank you for your interest in working with Paris Creek Farms.
Please send an email with your details to email@example.com and our HR department will assess if there is a suitable position available for you.
“…I’m particularly fond of the full cream milk (that actually compliments the taste of my tea!)…”
Paris Creek Farms have a great range of natural products that taste great and are better for you. I’m particularly fond of the full cream milk (that actually compliments the taste of my tea!) & their yogurt which is quite low fat/sugar compared to other brands… you don’t feel guilty for putting it on your morning weetbix! Lol keep up the good work. Here’s to local S.A brands!
“…So grateful for Paris Creek bringing bio-dynamic products into the mainstream market and also teaching me the quality of bio-dynamics…”
I have been enjoying these products for years!! So grateful for Paris Creek bringing Bio-dynamic products into the mainstream market and also teaching me the quality of bio-dynamics. The ash cheese has been my favourite until this weekend when I tried the new truffle brie! The Norwegiano is always a winner too.
“…My 13 month old daughter never ate much for breakfast until I started to cover it in your blueberry yogurt…”
My 13 month old daughter never ate much for breakfast until I started to cover it in your blueberry yogurt. Now our tiny little lady is finally eating the amount that she is meant to. Thank you for making such delicious products and amazing vego cheeses. The fact that it’s organic, affordable, SA owned/operated and healthy is just the icing on the cake. You have a customer for life.
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