Exhibitor Q&A series: CameLife

May 24, 2024

CameLife develops, manufactures and sells skincare, skin health, and pain and inflammation products based on Australian camel milk.

Written by Richard Williams – CEO

History of CameLife

CameLife is the trading name of The Australian Camel Milk Co founded in 2017 by Dr Jane Rose, Dr Pauline Roberts and Richard Williams. Jane is an integrative veterinarian with a specialist interest in dermatology, Pauline is a large animal vet who has worked in the camel sector and Richard is an engineer and entrepreneur.

The big idea was to develop a long term, sustainable solution to the Australian camel problem by developing high added value products that could eventually fund research into the health benefits of camel milk and drive the development of a long term sustainable camel dairying industry in Australia.

When we were founded, we were deeply inspired by spending time in Israel with the late Professor Reuven Yagil, who was the global advocate and guru of camel milk as a complimentary medicine. Some of the products we make now were directly inspired by Reuven.

Along the way, we have partnered with a number of small cosmetic manufacturers, bringing together camel milk with an all-natural, preservative free base made from fermented cabbages. This delves right back to the origins of today’s global skincare industry; the recipes are of traditional Hungarian Jewish origin, dating to the mid 19th Century and earlier. We work very closely with another small business which is at the cutting edge of extracting active ingredients from plants using super-critical carbon dioxide equipment.

We now have products that enhance skin health, treat skin complaints, help with pain and inflammation and we are launching a women’s health range.

Product highlights

We will be bringing our entire CameLife range to Naturally Good, but have two feature products to promote.

  • We are launching our Wild Yam Cream, bringing together camel milk, a very special extract from Mexican Wild Yam and our cabbage emulsion base. Wild Yam is a traditional natural treatment for the symptoms of menopause and for period pain.
  • We will be relaunching our soap which actually contains camel urine as well as camel milk. We’re launching under a new name, which we’re holding secret until the day!

Sustainable practices: key considerations in our product development

Our business is based on the premise that the Australian feral camel problem can be resolved by developing a sustainable camel milk. There are over a million feral camels in outback Australia, doing untold damage to the indigenous ecology. Government efforts to control the population are generally brutal; culling these beautiful animals by shooting them from helicopters, a practice which has significant environmental impact itself since it leaves behind a huge food source for carrion.

Dairying has its place, but the reality is that once a camel herd has been established from feral stock, the farm no longer needs feral animals. It becomes self-sustaining.  Meantime, camel dairying is something of a niche choice for Australian farmers. After more than a decade, camel milk remains an expensive luxury and the dairies struggle to make headway in promoting the medicinal and health benefits if camel milk.

But what if there was another way; what if we could properly research and promote the medicinal benefits of camel milk? What if we could connect that new Australian research with emerging studies in the Middle East and India? What if we could develop humane ways of controlling the camel population?

To do that obviously requires cash, but it also needs to bring together scientists, manufacturing, dairying and government. And that is the big idea behind CameLife.

We are at the early stages. It’s taken us longer than expected to get to a point where we can start to invest in research, but we’ve started at a very low-key level.

Global significance: offering organic and natural products

We believe that, by offering a range of innovative, premium quality high-added value products to the natural retail space, we can fund and initiate research, promote the health benefits of camel milk and assist farms to convert to dairying camels not just in Australia but worldwide. We want to take forward many of the ideas and concepts embodied in Reuven Yagil’s lifetime of dedicated research and work on camel dairying and the use of camel milk as a complimentary medicine.

Long term sustainable benefits

If we can generate healthy, highly profitable global revenue streams, we can promote the long term ethical, sustainable benefits of a global camel industry, noting that:

  • Camels are well-suited to arid and semi-arid regions where other livestock struggle to survive due to their ability to withstand high temperatures and scarce water and food resources. In these regions, camel dairying offers a sustainable source of nutrition and income for communities.
  • Camel milk is highly nutritious, containing a unique composition of proteins, fats, and vitamins. It is rich in vitamins B and C, iron, calcium, and unsaturated fatty acids. Additionally, camel milk is lower in lactose than cow’s milk, making it suitable for individuals with lactose intolerance.
  • Camel milk has been traditionally used for its medicinal properties in many cultures. It has immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. Some studies suggest that camel milk may benefit individuals with autoimmune conditions, diabetes, autism and certain allergies.
  • Camel dairying can be more sustainable than conventional dairy farming in some contexts. Camels require less water and food compared to other dairy animals, making them well-suited to regions with limited resources. Additionally, camels have lower methane emissions than cattle, contributing to reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Camel dairying provides economic opportunities for communities, especially in rural and marginalized areas. It can generate income through the sale of camel milk and milk products such as cheese, yogurt, and ice cream. In regions where camels are abundant, camel dairying can contribute to livelihood diversification and poverty alleviation.
  • In many cultures, camels hold cultural and symbolic significance. Camel dairying is often deeply rooted in traditional practices and knowledge passed down through generations. It plays a role in preserving cultural heritage and identity.

Rising demand in the healthy, organic, and natural retail space

Definitely. We still do a lot of direct to customer sales (and want to continue that way), so we talk directly to many of our customers. People are very interested in traditional remedies and are pushing back against big business, especially big pharma. There is a noticeable skepticism of conventional medicine, particularly after the Covid pandemic. Our co-founder Dr Jane Rose has seen significant demand for integrative and holistic care develop in the veterinary industry too.

Our customers want natural, where possible organic products where they feel a direct, trusted connection to the makers. They want sustainable, ethical products and are unconvinced by the Net Zero claims of big business. They want to buy from small business.

Unique business angle

We work closely, in what might be called an informal co-operative with a number of small businesses. From camel dairies, other small cosmetic manufacturers through to our packaging designers and suppliers and our marketing team. Whenever possible, we help each other out.

We are strong believers that small businesses should collaborate and cooperate; far too many see each other as competitors.


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