WA camel farm tastes success amidst global uptick for niche milk

WA camel farm tastes success amidst global uptick for niche milk

Good Earth Dairy CEO Marcel Steingiesser believes there is a sizeable market share of the market to be won over by camel milk purveyors. 

Camel milk might leave some noses wrinkled, but consumers and investors are lapping it up.

With immune-boosting items leaping off the shelves during the pandemic, WA-based camel farm Good Earth Dairy reports a 20 per cent spike in global demand.

While the $6 billion market pales in comparison to its $300-billion bovine counterpart, founder and CEO Marcel Steingiesser says the sky's the limit for camel milk.

"In terms of health benefits, there's enough of a product differentiation for it to become an everyday, household staple, rather than just a niche item," he says.

According to the Australian Camel Industry Association, camel milk has five times the vitamin C and 10 times the iron as cow's milk. While those benefits have been long touted in the Middle East, Steingiesser says that knowledge is now trickling through to other countries.

"From a global perspective, there's significant money being thrown into educating the market about the health benefits and the value of camel milk," he says.

"People are learning that camel milk is rich in copper and zinc which support immune function."

Camel milk is growing steadily more popular in Singapore, despite retailing at around $19 per litre (compared to just $4 for cow milk). Across much of Asia and the US, he says, customers aren't scared off by hefty price tags.

"In places like China you're seeing 300-gram tins of powder selling for as much as $120."

Yet at home, Steingiesser plans to drive costs down as much as possible. While the handful of camel milk retailers in Australia sell at an average of $10 per litre, Good Earth Dairy plans to drum up $1 million in equity to bring that cost per litre down to $2.

Upscaling to three million litres, he hopes, will deliver better profits margins, as will looking outside the company's 5,000-strong herd towards the country's feral camel population of three million.

With demand for the product rapidly outstripping supply, that would allow Good Earth Dairy to tap into fresh corners of the market.

"Our market in Australia is micro," he says.

With camel milk jostling for shelf space with more popular dairy alternatives like soy and almond milk, Steingiesser says a sizeable market share stands to be won over.

"The majority of those consumers aren't actually vegan," he says.

"The overwhelming reason why people buy milk alternatives are the impacts regular diary has on many people's guts."

The former BHP chemical engineer, who spent 14 years working in aluminium and nickel refineries, is optimistic about his ability to deliver on the $2 per litre vision.

"We've spent five years and over $5 million developing our capabilities and technologies to be able to get to this point where we can scale up quickly and efficiently."

"As we bring the cost of camel milk lower and lower, we stand a good chance of being able to compete with the $500 billion dairy market."

Industry heavyweights including ASX-listed Australian Dairy Nutritionals (ASX: AHF) have also jumped on board the bandwagon.

Enjoyed this article?

Don't miss out on the knowledge and insights to be gained from our daily news and features.

Subscribe today to unlock unlimited access to in-depth business coverage, expert analysis, and exclusive content across all devices.

Support independent journalism and stay informed with stories that matter to you.

Subscribe now and get 50% off your first year!

AI-driven Evitat platform creates pathway to a more sustainable building and renovation industry
Partner Content
Evitat, an AI-driven data platform, is empowering design and build professionals in the...
Evitat
Advertisement

Related Stories

SEEK hit by $141m impairment for Chinese jobs site Zhaopin

SEEK hit by $141m impairment for Chinese jobs site Zhaopin

Online employment marketplace SEEK (ASX: SEK) has taken a hit from ...

"End of an era": me&u founder Stevan Premutico steps down from board

"End of an era": me&u founder Stevan Premutico steps down from board

Stevan Premutico, a pioneer in QR code restaurant ordering and digi...

ANZ is embroiled in allegations it manipulated government bond sales – what exactly does that mean?

ANZ is embroiled in allegations it manipulated government bond sales – what exactly does that mean?

ANZ is being investigated by the Australian Securities and Investme...

ASX biotech minnow Hexima raising $4m to buy and become autonomous intelligence company RealThing

ASX biotech minnow Hexima raising $4m to buy and become autonomous intelligence company RealThing

More than two years after losing 87 per cent of its value in a sing...