“Just let us know whom we should contact to get this started!”
The PWF blog Any entrepreneurs interested in camel milk? – has had two responses.
1. Ian Spencer, a West Australian, says there ARE people interested and they already know, from the Kenyan experience, that it has been shown to be viable in developing countries BUT, legally in WA, where half of Australia’s camels are, the camel is classified as a pest not a farm animal, you can’t farm it unless you comply with non-cost effective fencing techniques. This could be overcome with a bit of lobbying, which will be done. Ian is keen to talk to any would be investors or resellers.
2. Robert Barzelay, who is setting up a camel ranch in Israel, speaks of Prof. Reuven Yagil, a well-known expert in camels, camel milk and other products, and advisor to the UN’s Food & Agriculture Organisation FAO on camel matters. Robert says the concept has been tested and it’s time to make a serious business out of it. The idea is to franchise the whole concept and replicate it in countries where there are camels, mainly in the poorer countries with large deserts. Australia is not really considered a poor country, but with the estimated 700,000 feral camel population (considered a pest) they are also planning to get started in Australia. Just let us know whom we should contact to get this started!!
Mauritania’s camel milk dairy is supplied by nomadic producers
The dairy ‘Laitiere de Mauritania’ is the brainchild of Nancy Abeiderrahmane, who, though born in England, has lived in Mauritania for over 30 years.
Initially, herdsmen preferred to sell direct to consumers rather than deal with an unknown ‘middle-woman’. Unused to the idea of a contract to supply a certain amount of milk every day, they would arrive only when they had excess production but gradually, with understanding of the nomadic way of life, Nancy ‘won over’ a group of regular suppliers, enticing them to bring the milk to the dairy themselves in exchange for a regular supply of camel fodder.
Statistics show that today the dairy buys in over 2000 litres every day to satisfy demand — 10 times the volume it bought daily during 1989. The company has invested in a fleet of small vans which deliver to countless corner shops and cartons of milk are regularly air-freighted, taken by road and even shipped by boat to neighboring Senegal.
One problem facing Nancy is that the European Union does not officially recognize the camel as a milk-producing animal but she is convinced her product is marketable in Europe. “We took a sample to Harrod’s,” London’s most famous department store, she says, “and the cheese buyer really loved it. Once we get the bureaucratic and technical problems out of the way, I believe the product will sell itself.”
Some possible Australian contacts:
What Prof Yagil says
Prof Yagil, who has been studying camels since 1969, says:
Prof Yagil has devoted his life to this and believes camel milk could end world hunger in Third World countries. He says, “It’s so frustrating to see people starving when we have this readily available, naturally replenishable food source right in front of our eyes….This is a project G8 should begin committing funds to right away.”
Camels were actually the first animals to be domesticated for milk, centuries before cows. They are, in fact, the only milk bearing animal that thrives in arid regions, even during droughts. Nomadic tribes have historically survived disease and famine because of their ability to subsist on little more than camel’s milk. Health-wise, camel’s milk is lower in cholesterol than cow’s milk, higher in Vitamin C than goat’s milk and genetically closer to human’s milk than both of them. Because its low fat homogenized “good fat”, protein and sugars are digestible by even those with a lactose deficiency, camel’s milk is a product destined to do well in health food markets throughout the world – sold as milk or ice cream.
Nancy Abeiderrahmane has done it in Mauritania, can we do it here?