Camels shine at show

Shelby Ackerman and Paul Martin. PICTURE: Luke Marsden.

Queensland’s Summer Land Camels has won gold, silver and bronze medals at the 2024 Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Show.

It was awarded gold for its Camel Milk, silver for its Camel Milk Persian Feta and bronze for its Camel Milk Powder.

This clean sweep takes the tally for the famous camel dairy based in the Scenic Rim to an incredible 85 since 2018.

Paul Martin, founder and director of Summer Land Camels – Australia’s largest camel dairy and the world’s largest wild camel training centre – was thrilled to be in the leaders’ circle for the seventh year running.

“We take great pride in demonstrating how our regenerative agriculture practices result in superior-quality products,” he said.

“Summer Land Camels has been at the forefront of innovation when it comes to developing new products, with an emphasis on preserving the health benefits of the milk.“

Camel milk is globally-renowned for its health benefits and as a nutritional ’dairy alternative’.

“In Australia, we boast the healthiest camels with superior genetics,“ Mr Martin said. “Rather than culling these incredible creatures, establishing a sustainable industry makes much more sense and we’re actively contributing to that initiative.

“One frequently asked question we field is about the taste of camel milk. While describing it as delicious is one thing, earning a gold medal at the Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Show adds substantial credibility to that claim.

“It’s best to come and try for yourself!”

Mr Martin said there were four words to describe the brand essence of Summer Land Camels – Feel Well, Do Good. Producing camel milk for those who need it for health reasons and saving the wild camels are his top motivators.

“Although camel milk is notoriously difficult to make into cheese, our team has been able to create a nationally award-winning Persian Feta as well as Fromage Blanc, Haloumi and even cheddar,“ he said.

“The unique structure of the milk, with the small fat and protein molecules makes cheeses with a delicate, smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

“And the taste is second to none.“

Perhaps the most surprising thing is that all camel milk dairy products can be consumed by people with dairy sensitivities and lactose issues.

Camel milk is in high demand around the world – Australian camel milk in particular – but there are challenges in transporting and storing the fresh milk.

“To make our award-winning fresh milk available to more people, we now have our Camel Milk Powder – freeze-dried to lock in the pure goodness,” Mr Martin said.

With a legacy dating back to the 1870s, the Sydney Royal Cheese & Dairy Produce Show is one of the industry’s most prestigious competitions.

Chair of judges Tiffany Beer said the quality of entries this year was outstanding, reflecting the excellence of raw materials and the technical prowess of the Australian dairy industry.

“I was very impressed with the turnout of entries this year and the level of quality presented across all classes was really high.

“It’s a reflection of the technical production skills and constant development, resulting in the consistent quality our local producers are striving for.“