Locals working with locals

Paul (our very own big cheese) was born and raised in Geraldine. A stunning town located at the gateway to the Southern Lakes, this place is a mecca for quality raw ingredients and incredible artisan food producers. It’s also home to great local people, many of which help make Talbot Forest Cheese what it is today.

ANDREW FITZSIMONS

PRODUCTION MANAGER

A Geraldine local, Andrew – or Brocky as he’s more affectionately known – manages the daily operations of our Temuka cheese manufacturing facilities.

Having worked in cheese plants since the early 80s, it’s safe to say that Andrew knows what he’s doing. And along with organising staff and forecasting production requirements, Andrew’s role involves commissioning and developing new products – the ultimate highlight of his job.

Father of three boys and an active member of the community fire brigade, Andrew has always got something going on. But his favourite pasttime has got to be fishing on the lake with his boys.

MATT MIDDLEMISS

GRATING ROOM TEAM LEADER

Known for getting things done and grating lots and lots of cheese, Matt was born and raised in the local area and is our grating room Team Leader.

In charge of setting up the grating room and organising staff for the day’s production, Matt also resolves any issues that might spring up, so there’s never a dull moment in his working day.

A big fan of being responsible for producing a quality product that’s also local, when Matt’s not working at Talbot Forest Cheese, he’s working at home farming chickens and selling wood. Phew.

VANESSA HALKETT

LABELLING TEAM LEADER

A Temuka local, Vanessa keeps our labelling department running like clockwork. With a great team and department behind her, Vanessa thrives off the problem solving she has to do every day in her role, whether that’s making sure the equipment runs smoothly or thinking up new ways to make tasks as simple as possible.

Incredibly proud of the awards that Talbot Forest Cheese has won over the years, Vanessa brings a lightness to the whole company and is always up for a laugh. And when she’s not at work, she’s busy ferrying her kids to various sporting activities or whisking them off on wild camping trips.

FIONA GILLUM

DISPATCH TEAM LEADER

Our very own organising angel, Fiona helps with the daily dispatch in our Temuka distribution centre. With us since 2009, Fiona loves that every day at the office is different, and she really values being part of a team who always gives 110%.

When she’s not driving a forklift, sending emails, doing the invoicing or generally just organising stuff, you’ll find Fiona either dancing (rock ‘n’ roll to be precise), walking her dogs or catching up with friends over a fancy cheese platter.

KYLIE VAN JAASIVELD

SHIFT SUPERVISOR

In charge of the day-to-day running of the shifts in our cheese plant, Kylie is our level-headed local who – like the rest of the team at Talbot Forest Cheese – absolutely loves what she does.

Proud to be part of a company who makes great cheese, follows quality processes, and has the awards to prove it, Kylie is also a keen showjumper. So it comes as no surprise that her work motto is ‘Keep calm and canter on’.