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Mr. Milk makes high-quality dairy products with fresh milk produced in the St. Isidore Farm
The most important thing in the food industry is securing good materials. It is particularly applicable to dairy products relative to all others, since their final products are highly dependent on the quality of the source ingredient. As Mr. Milk had a very good understanding of this fact, it rolled up its sleeves for a fresh start in Jeju.
Most dairy farming and processing businesses in Korea are located on the mainland, as it’s easier to find bigger pastures for dairy cattle to feed on and have more chances to meet consumers. CEO Sin Se-Ho also worked at large dairy processing companies in Korea. It was in 2014 that he founded Mr. Milk based on his experience.
"In my former workplace, I made a suggestion that the company would be able to produce more value if it provided fresh, clean milk from Jeju Island. In the course of detailing my idea, I set up a distribution division that will be in charge of products produced in Jeju. It was my first encounter with milk from the St. Isidore Farm.”
For him, who was optimistic about Jeju's dairy industry, the farm's milk was incomparable. “I wanted to process that milk myself one day,” he thought.
"Milk is comprised of 85-88% water and the remaining 12-15% nutrients, which are diverse solids. As such, the quality of the water that cows drink is the key factor. The grass on which they nourish should also grow with good water. In this aspect, the St. Isidore Farm had everything it needed to be a great farm. It supplies crystal clear water from Eoseungsaengak (a low volcanic cone at the foot of Mt. Hallasan) and runs the field organically. It is without equal, I would say."
However, CEO Sin Se-Ho pointed out that farm milk is not only made with the right environment. Since the farm does not use antibiotics, growth accelerators, or fertility medications commonly used in the industry, cows live throughout their natural life cycle. That's why you can't even find a small particle of the hormonal agents that cause many problems, like early puberty at St. Isidore Farm.
"It's actually very difficult to operate a ranch according to organic standards, keeping it natural the way it is, because the amount of milk produced is small. The St. Isidore Farm would be the only ranch that could operate this way, as it is a non-profit organization."
Sin Se-Ho, CEO of Mr. Milk
The quantity of milk from cows varies with the season. It goes down in summer and increases in winter. Hence, it is not easy to handle excess milk in winter. Productivity is very low as the milk should be shipped to the mainland for processing, and it is even difficult to find a place to take care of the surplus supply as the mainland also has milk leftovers. The relationship between the St. Isidore Farm and Mr. Milk began here. It began to make the best-quality cheese with milk produced on the farm, officially signing a supply contract in 2016 with the Shidol Development Association.
"Many people think that saltiness is the original taste of cheese. But it’s salty because of all sorts of additives put inside. Our focus is on extracting the authentic taste of the milk itself. From block cheese to string cheese, mozzarella cheese, grilled cheese, and sliced cheese, you can enjoy the creamy, soft texture with any type of product we make. The secret? We pasteurize the good milk from the farm at a low temperature - with great care.”
The milk and cheese products of Mr. Milk are particularly popular among famous consumer co-operatives. Consumers have acknowledged that its high-quality products are superior to others. However, Mr. Milk has a bigger dream, getting ready to leap to a higher goal.
Mr. Milk is constructing a new milk processing facility near St. Isidore Farm, targeted for completion in December 2021. However, it's not just the addition of another factory – the company is planning to make a new start in Jeju.
“At first, we thought of relocating. But due to certain problems, we changed our plan to start a new business. The local government provides more benefits to relocating businesses, but it was a better decision to establish a new company to realize our visions.”
The faster and more stable milk supply from the St. Isidore Farm was instrumental in this decision, and CEO Sin was confident that Jeju would create a turning point in the dairy industry.
“Not only the milk from the St. Isidore Farm but also general milk produced in Jeju is better than that made on the mainland, thanks to the environmental conditions. If there’s improvement in the lack of facilities to process their milk and also in the way they take care of milk supplies in different seasons, I believe that Jeju would be able to create greater added values and set a new paradigm in the Korean dairy industry.”
CEO Sin Se-Ho also plans to carry out various dairy collaborations using the wide range of fruits and vegetables produced in Jeju, adding to the milk. His next goal: Advertising that the good ingredients produced in Jeju make magnificent dairy products.
“My ultimate goal is to coexist with the local community and use up surplus milk produced in Jeju. The new dairy plant will launch products like yogurt, cheese, ice cream, and many other products that people do not find in other dairy processing companies. I think going together is an important thing, like cooperating with the existing OEM factories. I concluded that such new attempts would be a way to diversify the use of dairy processing facilities."
Meanwhile, the new milk processing factory of Mr. Milk will also have an experience section for visitors. Designed by world-renowned architect Seung Hyo-Sang, the high-quality structure even embraces the aesthetics of a space reserved for first-hand experiences. It is expected to present its visitors with the happiness of taste and the pleasure of active participation. Mr. Milk hopes to contribute to the progress of the region's dairy industry. The seed of its dream, which began with the goal of making various dairy products with fine milk, is sprouting in Jeju.
Various dairy products produced by Mr. Milk Ⓒ Mr. Milk