Talk about the cream of the crop

❝We’ve pro­vided great em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for our fam­ily mem­bers and now the 116 staff and 30 con­trac­tors who work with us❞

Kyabram Free Press - - NEWS - By Char­mayne Al­li­son

KYVALLEY Dairy’s Mulc­ahy fam­ily gath­ered re­cently to cel­e­brate 160 years — and six gen­er­a­tions — in the dairy busi­ness.

Mi­grat­ing from Ire­land in 1857, the Mulc­ahy dairy dy­nasty came to North Cen­tral Vic­to­ria in 1879 when James and Brid­get Mulc­ahy set­tled in Byr­ne­side with their 13 chil­dren and a small dairy busi­ness.

The Mulc­ahy name soon be­came known through­out the re­gion for pro­duc­ing qual­ity dairy prod­ucts.

Fast-for­ward 130 years to 1987 and twin broth­ers Peter and David Mulc­ahy made the bold move to pur­chase the fam­ily farm and cre­ate the Mulc­ahy Broth­ers brand.

Years passed and the farm blos­somed, with the base num­ber of dairy cat­tle ex­pand­ing from around 280 cows to 3500 in 2001.

Old­est brother Wayne joined in 2000 to project man­age the build­ing of the fam­ily’s dairy pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity at Kyabram and be­came the group's first CEO.

The build­ing of the fam­ily’s first fac­tory be­came one of the most crit­i­cal mile­stones in the growth of the busi­ness as it pro­vided se­cu­rity to grow the fam­ily's milk sup­ply.

The fam­ily busi­ness reached an­other cat­a­lyst in 2002 when they de­cided to fo­cus on a2 dairy herd ge­net­ics.

Through Kyvalley Dairy Group, the Mulc­ahy fam­ily now sup­plies all the a2 fresh milk that can be found in homes across Vic­to­ria, South Aus­tralia, Tas­ma­nia and the North­ern Ter­ri­tory.

In 160 years, what be­gan as a fledg­ling busi­ness has flour­ished into one of Aus­tralia’s largest fam­ily owned dairy com­pa­nies, sup­ply­ing fresh milk prod­ucts to the Asia Pa­cific re­gion through a se­cure sup­ply chain from feed to fi­nal prod­uct.

So it’s no sur­prise Wayne Mulc­ahy and his broth­ers are thrilled.

‘‘We’re proud to be a part of a long legacy not many other fam­i­lies have achieved,’’ Wayne said.

Wayne ad­mit­ted they had en­coun­tered some chal­lenges along the way — such as try­ing to make the new milk fac­tory prof­itable dur­ing the long droughts of the noughties, keep­ing all three fam­ily branches on the same page and de­vel­op­ing ef­fec­tive suc­ces­sion plans for the next gen­er­a­tion.

But there have also been many re­wards.

‘‘We’ve grown the busi­ness to con­sume all of our milk and sup­port other farm­ing fam­i­lies in the district,’’ Wayne said.

‘‘We’ve pro­vided great em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for our fam­ily mem­bers and now the 116 staff and 30 con­trac­tors who work with us. We also have the abil­ity to ex­port nearly half of our fresh milk prod­uct into Asia.

‘‘Fi­nally, we’ve been able to pur­chase the Kiewa Coun­try Brand, putting the brand back in fam­ily hands and supporting re­gional Aus­tralia.’’

So what is their se­cret to 160 suc­cess­ful years in the dairy busi­ness?

Wayne said it comes down to fos­ter­ing a fam­ily val­ues cul­ture where it’s en­joy­able to work and every­one is re­spected.

As for the fu­ture, he says the plan is to grow — and grow.

‘‘We hope to con­tinue to ex­pand, en­joy what we do and see the fam­ily legacy con­tinue on to the fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.’’

MEET THE CLAN — Peter, Des, Joyce, Wayne and David Mulc­ahy (above) were all smiles as they got to­gether to cel­e­brate 160 years of the fam­ily busi­ness in the lo­cal dairy in­dus­try and (left) broth­ers Wayne and Peter Mulc­ahy said they were ex­cited to res­ur­rect the Kiewa Coun­try brand.

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