Shaw River Buffalo Cheese owes its success to the driving force and entrepreneurial spirits of Roger and Sue Haldane and the team of people who share their passion for creating amazing buffalo milk products.
It all starts at the farm where the buffalo are cared for milked and raised by loving staff who understand that a buffalo who is happy will produce more milk, remain healthier and live longer. We try to create a low stress environment, which extends to our choice to milk only once a day.
The quality of the milk is really important so they take great pride and care to produce the best they can.
The farm and the factory are separated by the Shaw River and several kilometres so the milk is pumped into our little tanker and driven down to the cheese factory for processing.
Here the creative team of cheese makers patiently coax the milk through the various areas of the factory to produce the Shaw River Buffalo cheese range. Due to seasonal variations in milk composition the cheese making process is ever changing. The job of the chief cheese maker on the day is to monitor and read the way each batch is making and adapt the processes to suit.
The business started off with Thea and Andrew Royal as cheese makers in Camperdown. Andrew was the chief cheese maker and factory manager at Shaw River for many years before moving on to other things. His experiments with the buffalo milk to produce new cheeses meant that Annie Baxter, Buffalino and Lady J amongst others were born. Andrew travelled Italy to immerse himself in the traditional buffalo milk cheese making processes and hone his skills. Later he made visits to the USA and Canada to share his cheese making experiences with other buffalo cheese producers just starting out.
Now a team of local ladies and gentleman, including the chief cheese makers Faye, Naomi and Shaun take it in turns throughout the production days to make fresh mozzarella, yoghurt and fill the maturation rooms with wheels of cheese. The cheese making process is a social affair with much chatter and story telling as they gather around the stretching vat to pinch each ball of mozzarella. This is where the special ingredients of friendship, laughter and love are added.