DromeDairy is an ethically run camel dairy farm located on the outskirts of Perth since 2015 by Max Bergmann, his wife Ronja, a forensic scientist, and Max’s seeing-eye dog Fawn.
Recognising the enormous potential for camel milk products in Australia, Max, a legally blind 32-year-old Paralympian with a PhD in Plant Physiology, hasn’t let the matter of a degenerative eye disease get in the way of realising potential and forging the way to success. With the only disease-free camel population in the world located here in Australia, Max quickly recognised that camel milk is the world’s oldest superfood - being very high in vitamin C and iron with antioxidant properties.
Camel milk is also a great natural moisturiser and perfect to be used as a base in products such as soaps, lotions, shampoos and conditioners. In addition to this, Max also wants to highlight camel dairies as an alternative to expensive camel culls, which are undertaken to avoid degradation of the natural environment and competition with other livestock for food and water sources. DromeDairy is a perfect example of the enormous potential of these majestic animals.
Camel milk skincare
The health benefits of camel milk are amazing; the iron content is up to 10 times higher than cow’s milk. It contains alpha-hydroxy acids and protein which make it a perfect topical moisturiser. Rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B12 and carotene, it also has anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce skin redness and irritation.
Where did it all begin?
Originally from a small village near Hanover in Germany, Max grew up spending time on his aunties farm, and, by age 8, he had a real passion for farming. Unfortunately, it was also around this time that he was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). RP is a genetic disease where the cells on the retina are being destroyed. Max still has his peripheral vision but a big blind spot in the centre of his vision. He is able to still move around using the peripheral vision off to the side and, of course, having Fawn with him is very helpful.
At age 16, Max spent a year in Melbourne with some relatives which gave him a taste for the Australian lifestyle, where he knew then that he would come back here to live. Upon return to Germany for University, Max achieved both Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Agricultural Science followed by another Masters in Management in the UK. Moving to Australia in 2009 with wife Ronja, they were first located in Sydney and then Perth, where Max did his PhD, at UWA.
Whilst Max may be legally blind, he certainly does not lack vision for achieving great things, both mentally and physically. During his studies, Max was a semi-professional runner and competed for the first time internationally at the 2004 Paralympics in Athens. Max competed almost every year after that, in European, World and Australian championships, where he won silver and bronze medals in Brazil, the Netherlands and Finland. With competitive running now behind him, Max still enjoys running for fitness – taking Fawn with him when he runs on his own but is certainly kept fit with the physical nature of the farm work of the camels.
Where science and skincare meet
In addition to milking the camels, there is also a research element to DromeDairy, where Max and Ronja are also working together with veterinary students from Murdoch University analysing the properties of camel milk and investigating the benefits on the skin (using skin models and later on real people).
DromeDairy Body + Skin
In 2017 Max and Ronja began an expansion of the farm, going from 8 to 40 camels and putting more of a focus on providing camel milk products to be sold Australia wide and eventually internationally. In 2019, the DromeDairy Body + Skin range was launched with a lip balm, soap, hand and body lotion and a shampoo and conditioner which is available in selected stores and online. Over the last year our camel family has further expanded and so will DromeDairy's product range. A shampoo bar, face cream and pet shampoo are currently in development and will be available online later this year.