Kyvalley Dairy Group has “heard loud and clear” that consumers want genuine Kiewa milk in any replicated product – so that’s what they are going to deliver.
When it was revealed the Kyabram-based company had bought the famous brand from Murray Goulburn, owner Wayne Mulcahy said if there were “strong signals” from the community, it would be resurrected.
A few weeks on, the verdict is in – and Kyvalley agrees – “it needs to be Kiewa Valley milk in the Kiewa Country brand”.
Chief executive Alastair McCredden said the company was establishing relationships with suppliers in Kiewa to supply all milk for the brand, to be delivered to Kyabram for production.
“During discussion with consumers, distributors and suppliers we realised it’s important we have milk from the Kiewa Valley,” he said.
“There is a cost associated with that, but we believe it’s certainly feasible.
“The other key point is that there’s a lot of heritage and quality associated with the brand, so we want to make sure we’ve got that right.
“If we can do that in weeks, we will, but if it takes us a little bit longer, we don’t want to sacrifice quality for speed.”
Mr McCredden could not give a timeframe of when production would begin on the new Kiewa Country Milk brand, but said a tasting panel was already on standby.
“We have the recipe, the equipment to make the product and hopefully we’ll have the milk, so the plan is to make sure there are the original Kiewa flavours – especially the iced coffee.”
In July, Wagga-based Riverina Fresh indicated it would aim to replicate a Kiewa Iced Coffee brand – but Mr McCredden said Kyvalley reserved that right.
“We respect the heritage of this brand and that’s one of the reasons we bought it, so yes, we will be quite protective of the Kiewa Country brand,” he said.
Kyvalley director Peter Mulcahy, whose family has been in the dairy industry for 160 years, said the company was returning to its early days by producing flavoured milk.
“(Buying the Murray Goulburn assets) allows us to do that,” he said.
“We’re supportive of regional jobs and want to get this product back where it needs to be.”