The Great Dairy Deliverer

As the proud founder of Bali-Alm Company, Christoph Kaffanke certainly know a thing or two of how to create a quality dairy products from scratch, as that’s what he has been doing all along through his home factory. 

Dairy company in Bali is few and far between, but those little numbers that exist really push themselves to make a great products and maintaining the quality at the same time. In this edition, we chat with Christoph Kaffanke, the man behind Bali-Alm Company, to get an insider perspective of how to face the increasing demand of Western-bound products by combining his European knowledge and available local resource.

Tell us a bit about Bali-Alm, how did it all started?

It was around 2012, we started first by testing some yoghurt and local cheeses. Due to the need, I have to feed my family and building a hydropower plant in Lombok, and I came to the idea to make something like cheese and yoghurt because I realize there is not really much of dairy products factory in Indonesia at that moment. Camembert was the first type of cheese we did, along with some yoghurt.

What’s the main product of Bali-Alm, and where did you distributed them?

Our main products at the moment are divided into two parts; the first is yoghurt. I can say ours is the best yoghurt in Indonesia, because there is no stabilizer inside, no coloring, it’s just milk and milk powder. The second line is
Camembert and Brie cheese product. The difference between these two is basically just the name, taken from regions in France that produce cheese in distinctive way, and size; one is big and one is small.

Our products are 95% distributed to five-star hotels. My yoghurt is not the cheapest one you can get in the market, but I can guarantee the quality. I have one of the biggest yoghurt factories from Germany that come here and told me that my yoghurt is too expensive in production, but my quality is high. It even passing German’s standard. I just try to make good product. Many five-star hotels here use my yoghurt, and since we have two shops now in Bali, we also cater to private customers, but at this moment, we are focused on the hotel market.

How’s the general method of processing the products of Bali-Alm? What differs it from other similar factory?

How you make a cheese and yoghurt in general is that you getting quality milk from a cattle farm-ours are coming from Java. There are two kinds of milk you can use; raw or pasteurize milk. For us, I only work with the latter. I would prefer the taste of my product to be a little bit lower but no one gets ill from consuming it.

So you can minimize that risk by using pasteurized milk?

Correct. You can at least control the risk better. Milk is a high-risk product, especially in country with tropical climate as Indonesia. This is the problem every dairy company is facing, even the hi-tech ones in Germany. Things always happen.

What differs me from others; well, I never heard my competitor, or anybody else using full-cream milk powder. I only use full-cream one, my (product’s) fat is higher than in all other competitors’ products here. Fat is carrying the taste for everything. It is a great flavor deliverer.


What do you think about the prospect of having an actual dairy farm in Bali? Would it be possible in the future?

I think in the mountain is possible, the direction of Bedugul, Kintamani. But the thing that I’ve heard is that cow farming, as the Western people and the one in Java did, is forbidden in Bali because the local religious believe said that you can’t
milk the cow. But yeah, it is a possible thing to do in this island, if you go up there (on mountain area), you can grow cattle for dairy farm.

Why did you pick this location to become your main factory? Any particular reason?

Well, the school my kids go to is close by (laugh). This is the cheapest land I could find around

That’s practical reasons! But for more technical perspective, is the climate affecting the production progress or anything like that?

Every climate has a pro and con. When I bought this land and we moved here, I don’t really care about making cheese, the first thing was to get my family a home. I also was not expecting this business would grow bigger and bigger, so we are continuously expanding. It was always my family first, then the cheese, if it’s  the other way around, I would probably go a little bit up North, but for now the decision was like that. The other advantage from our current location is we can get faster access to our customers, which are the hotels around Jimbaran and Nusa Dua, as well as Kuta and Legian.

As the world is heading towards ‘healthy lifestyle conscience’, how will you adjust with the said trend / movement in term of producing your dairy products?

From the start, we never used any chemicals to make our products. For our yoghurt, I would get the fruits locally, except for blackberry which we need to get from Bandung. Most competitors don’t do this because it’s too expensive. We’re doing around 10-15 flavors depending on the season, all done by myself. In the flavor there is nothing except fruit, sugar and lemon, like what you used to make a regular jam paste. I think we have nice healthy products as far as you can see. I can say that our products are as close to nature as possible, but I don’t call them ‘organic’, because there’s a different standard for that term everywhere depending on the countries and condition.

To cater all of these super-healthy people, we started making non-dairy and vegan-based products, including cheese, which has become a big success. But in general, we are a dairy company so we stick to it and never touch these chemistry line and
compromised what we originally intend to provide for the market.

What’s your closest plan for Bali-Alm in the future?

I often scared because I have so many ideas (laugh), but in this year, we will bring a new product on the market, a healthy drink. Then I made a new cheese; I named it ‘St. Jaime’, after my daughter. It is a type of Switzerland Bucheron cheese, but since the climate is totally different here we make it in the way of using the culture, and hopefully we can maintain the structure and the taste of our final result to match the original Bucheron. We plan to sell this product to the high-end market, in its own stamped, neat wooden-box.

Jl. Bukit Bintang 18a, Ungasan, Kuta Sel., Jimbaran, Bali 80361 

Phone : +62 812 3790 3290