A shift away from mass production may secure the future of the Murraylands' dairy industry, local processing company Beston Pure Foods says.
The company will market its cheese under a new brand: Edwards Crossing, the original name of the European settlement that became Murray Bridge.
Beston Global Food Company (BFC) chairman Roger Sexton said the nod to the past showed the company intended to play a long game.
"Our vision for the Murray Bridge factory is to move it away from its previous commodity-style, mass-production practices to producing high quality-style cheeses," he said.
"The Edwards Crossing brand recognises the more than 50 years of history that underpins our factory.
"The initiatives ... represent a commitment by BFC to help put sustainable long-term growth back into the dairy industry in South Australia."
Part proceeds from the sale of Edwards Crossing cheese will be used to purchase extra milk from local producers, which will be used for a cheddar cheese that will be aged for three years.
Some profits will also be spent improving the welfare of South Australia’s dairy farmers, with guidance from the SA Dairyfarmers Association.
The first cheese to bear the label will be a limited-edition cheddar, produced from South Australian milk, hand-dipped in black wax and sold in independent South Australian supermarkets.
The change in production, which will create up to 60 ongoing jobs, will be funded in part by a $2.5 million state government grant announced earlier this month.
State Agriculture Minister Leon Bignell congratulated Beston on its thinking.
"We want to see increased markets for SA milk so dairy farmers aren't beholden to two large dairy processors," he said.
Beston purchased the dairy factories at Murray Bridge and Jervois last July after the collapse of United Dairy Power.