Beston Global Food Company's Jervois dairy factory to be painted with image of Oscar Cheso, local producer

A mural to be painted on the Beston Global Food Company's Jervois dairy factory will highlight its past while pointing the way towards its promising future.

The mural will be based on an old photograph of local dairy producer Oscar Cheso, loading milk cans, which also features on the label of the company's award-winning Edwards Crossing vintage cheddar cheese.

It is due to be finished next month.

Mr Cheso's father originally owned the land on which the factory was built in 1939, when a consortium of local dairy farmers figured they would pool their resources and seek a better return on their milk.

The factory's present-day operations manager and master cheesemaker, Paul Connolly, said the photo captured the era.

It will also serve as a reminder of the foundation on which the factory's present success was built.

More than 40 people work at the Jervois factory these days, producing butter, milk powder, by-products and, most prominently, mozzarella cheese.

After putting a call out to producers earlier this year, it now sources milk from Meningie and the Lower Lakes as well as the Fleurieu, South East and northern areas.

Its new, $25 million mozzarella plant was commissioned in February, and has already reached full production.

From the start, it was designed to be best-in-class with vats from Holland, cooker-stretcher equipment from Italy, packing equipment from Germany and other parts from New Zealand.

Mr Connolly said the feedback he was getting from his wholesale customers – the cheese is not available for direct retail sale – was "really good".

"The team have done a fantastic job, considering February was when we switched it on ... to have the quality we've got," he said.

"The milk quality is really good – we source the best ingredients we can, including some from overseas."

The other trick to cheesemaking, he said, was fine-tuning: tweaking the process incrementally, trialling changes to see what improved the quality of the finished product.

"I enjoy it because I love the science in cheesemaking, how all the cultures and enzymes work," he said.

"I'm always learning."

Beston re-opened the former United Dairy Power factory at Jervois, and another at nearby Murray Bridge, in 2015.

Comments