The iconic and much-loved Kangaroo Island tourism destination, Island Pure Sheep Dairy will close at the end of the month.
Owners Geoff and Cathy Rischbieth have made the announcement with great sadness, blaming increasing costs of doing business.
“It is with great sadness and regret that we announce Island Pure Sheep Dairy will cease operating on the 31st of August 2018 as the business is no longer commercially viable,” Geoff said.
“We have struggled for several years with financial losses and these have continued to mount.
“Electricity, mains water, gas, diesel,feed and freight costs have all continued to increase dramatically and the prices for feed and hay have been exacerbated by the national drought this year.
“Competition from cheaper overseas products has set a ceiling for wholesale prices for sheep milk products. We have been unable to charge the prices needed to cover production costs on the Island.
“Despite our best efforts with major capital expenditure to improve processes, several new tourism initiatives and the passion of our team, we have not been able to keep pace with rising expenses.
“When we purchased Island Pure, it was on the verge of closing. We’ve worked hard and are proud of the progress we made; creating award winning new products, developing a strong milking flock and making Island Pure a popular destination for locals and tourists.
“For this we are indebted to our cheesemaker Sally George, our general manager Tiff Turner and their dedicated team. We have always been proud to promote Kangaroo Island and its unique produce. We deeply regret having to make this decision and the demise of an iconic Island brand.”
Staff have been weaning the sheep off milking in anticipation of the closure.
The Islander hopes to bring you reaction and follow-up to the news of the business closure.