Jersey cows' higher pregnancy rates offer clear economic benefits by lowering replacement rates.
In a first for New Zealand, his company will launch organic Jersey milks said to offer a ‘from-the-farmgate’ taste.
Cullinane says his Organic Jersey Milk is the first 100% Jersey whole milk available on supermarket shelves, bearing the distinction of richer flavour and creamier texture; and it has no connection with permeate or palm kernel expeller.
“It’s milk the way it should be,” Cullinane told Dairy News. “My fundamental belief is that Jersey is to milk what Angus is to beef.”
It’s the first time a milk producer has separated out Jersey milk from other milks.
“I use the analogy of a winemaker combining all the various grape varieties into one big tub and making a generic product called ‘wine’, rather than celebrating each varietal,” he adds.
“As a dairy producing nation, we would expect the milk we produce to be something special. But with the big [companies’] focus on technology and volume, more emphasis seems to go into the packaging than the product inside. We’re [focused] on quality ahead of quantity and [will offer] New Zealanders a less processed and better tasting option.”
In standard practice, milk producers combine the milk of various cow breeds then break the resulting product down into its constituent parts before ‘reassembling’ it.
Cullinane says milk should not be treated as a commodity but instead celebrated as an example of New Zealand dairying at its best.
Lewis Road Creamery products are bottled by Green Valley Dairy, also at Mangatawhiri. The milk comes from dedicated Jersey herds and undergoes minimal interference during its journey from milk shed to bottle.
And it is free of permeates, Cullinane says. “New Zealand lags behind other countries [in supplying] mainstream permeate-free milk. In other markets there’s been resistance to the addition of the watery, green-coloured by-product of the milk production process. We don’t see any reason why it should be in our milk.
Neither is PKE used to produce the milk.
Compared to milk from Friesians, Cullinane says, Jersey milk contains less water and lactose, and more beta-casein, protein and calcium.
The new Organic Jersey Milk comes in four varieties: non-homogenised, homogenised, light and calcium enriched low fat.
The milk bottles are traditionally shaped and recyclable.
Lewis Road Creamery is also launching Organic Jersey Cream and Organic Jersey Double Cream with higher-than-average 48% butterfat.
In August 2012 it launched its Premium Butter and Artisan Butter earlier this year.
Says Cullinane, “We’re on a mission to shake up the dairy aisle and deliver produce that tastes like dairy produce used to, and should, taste.”
Prices: milk, 750ml, RRP $3.19; cream, 300ml, RRP $3.99; double cream, 300ml, RRP $4.49, in Auckland supermarkets, wider distribution to follow.