When you think of milk you don’t necessarily think of camels, however, that is exactly what the Camel Milk Co Australia is all about.
As Australia’s first licensed camel milk dairy to process and sell their own milk, co-founder Megan Williams says they farm with a bit of a difference.
“Unlike traditional dairy farms, we keep mum and baby together,” she says.
“We have a micro plant onsite, so we process all our own milk which is sent to Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Singapore and our powder goes around the world.”
Naturally lower in fat and lactose than regular milk, camel milk also contains Lactoferrin, which is anti-bacterial and immune boosting. While camel milk is a great alternative for anyone that is lactose intolerant, other benefits led Williams to launch a skincare range.
“Seven years ago, a lady bought some milk from us and created her own soaps, and it was the most amazing soap I had ever used. That’s where I got the idea that we could do skincare and so I started to do some research.
“Everyone is more health conscious these days, careful about what they put into and onto their body, they want no nasties and no chemicals. It took a little while to formulate this range. Most milk-based skincare ranges have milk as their last ingredient, so there isn’t really much in there at all.
“Our products have it as the second ingredient, which means they’ve got lots and lots of camel milk in it. That in itself is a bit of a headache because you’re putting milk with skincare which is a recipe for mouldy yuckiness, so we had to work with natural preservatives such as vitamin A to stabilise the product and make it nice and nourishing.”
Williams designs the packaging herself and the fact that the skincare is made in Victoria seems to be super important for retailers she spoke to at Reed Gift Fairs Sydney, where she was exhibiting.
“Every second buyer I talk to is after Australian made products, so it is definitely a big deal in today’s market. Another big trend is gift boxes. During the pandemic, more people were going online and sending gift boxes to their friends, so now we are in more hampers and gift boxes. Covid has really changed the way we operate.”
While camel milk will never be as big as diary, it definitely has its place in the market. There are currently about six camel farms in Australia and when Williams and her husband started their farm it wasn’t just about breaking into a market, it was about creating a whole new industry.
“In 2014, I was watching a documentary on camels in Australia, how they were an untapped resource and the health benefits that came with the milk. My oldest son who was two at the time was lactose intolerant and I thought, I wonder if I can give him camel milk. So we just got some camels and that’s how we got into it. I watched this amazing documentary and was just hooked from then on.”