A study into the use of camels in Queensland led to the creation of Australia's first commercial camel dairy, QCamel. The enterprise has rapidly expanded to produce not just camel milk but also yoghurt, cheese, chocolate, cosmetics and soap, and is a local tourist attraction.
Hi, my name’s Lauren Brisbane, I'm the director of QCamel and we’re based in the Glass House Mountains.
To describe QCamel is to describe a commercial camel dairy on the Sunshine Coast. We produce camel milk and camel milk products.
My background was in administration in agriculture, so I had a long interest in agriculture. The impetus to start studying camels came from living in North Queensland during the drought in the nineties and I started looking for an animal that I thought was probably a lot more suitable to the Australian environment and the Queensland Government offer some amazing grants, so we are aware of those and we are accessing those at the moment. We were able to be the beneficiaries of an amazing grant last year in the Grow Coastal Food Accelerator Program here on the Sunshine Coast.
I would never swap my job for a 9 to 5 role, I love what I do. Camels creep into your soul. We started with 2. I feel very sorry my husband. I came to him one day and said, “Hey honey can we buy a couple of camels?” and now we have 100.
Ideas for successful businesses come from any number of sources. QCamel was born from a research paper by QCamel director, Lauren Brisbane. While working in the agriculture industry, Lauren completed a 2 year study on the opportunities for the development of the Queensland camel industry.
Situated near the Glass House Mountains in the Sunshine Coast region north of Brisbane, QCamel’s original aim, as a commercial camel dairy, was to produce an alternative product for customers with dairy allergies. From day 1, QCamel had to not only train their herd of camels to be milked, they also had to design their own bespoke dairy capable of milking them.
Demand for their pasteurised camel milk was so strong that QCamel quickly expanded its product range to include the production and sale of 8 additional product lines including smoothies, yoghurt, cheese, powdered milk, chocolate, cosmetics and soap.
QCamel’s camel milk products are sold at the farm gate and by more than 100 Australian retailers. They've also successfully exported into Singapore and New Zealand markets. QCamel continues to research and develop new commodities, with innovation at the forefront of everything they do. They also strive to incorporate the very best sustainable, ethical farming practices in their operations.
The business is open to the public, allowing visitors to meet the camels and sample and purchase products. QCamel is a successful boutique tourism operation in its own right, having featured on every Australian television network and on international travel shows.
Plans for the future include expanding their export offering and working towards having QCamel certified as the world's first organic camel milk company.