Tuesday, 13 April 2021 08:55

Organic farmers launch own brand of A3 milk

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Organic Dairy Hub chief executive Clay Fulcher. Organic Dairy Hub chief executive Clay Fulcher.

A small group of North Island organic farmers has launched a new dairy brand, hopeful that one day it will become a household name.

Called 'Ours Truly', its first product is 'A3' - fresh, full cream milk, delivered via door-to-door subscription. Milk comes from 30 farms making up the Organic Dairy Hub Co-op, the only New Zealand milk producer that is 100% farmer-owned and only produces organic milk.

Launched last month, Ours Truly's trademarked A3 milk has A2 Betacasein and is certified under the US Department of Agriculture's National Organic Programme (NOP) standards.

Organic Dairy Hub (ODH) chief executive Clay Fulcher says there is a growing demand for organic A2 milk products around the world.

"Our A3 milk gives customers milk from A2/A2 cows produced on organic farms certified under some of the most stringent standards in the world," he told Dairy News.

"The USDA-NOP doesn't allow for any synthetic chemical use or treatments on farm.

"Our A3 milk is free from nasties and tastes the way milk should taste."

Fulcher, a former Fonterra sales executive joined ODH two years ago with a brief trademark a brand that truly represented the Hub.

The co-op's farmers came together last month to witness the launch of Ours Truly.

"Our farmers always wanted to see our own brand, so they were very pleased to see Ours Truly come to life," he says.

Ours Truly A3 organic milk is available in 1-litre sustainable bottles, costing $4.25 and dispatched in packs of two. Orders can be made online: chilled and ready to drink milk can arrive at a customer's doorstep on a weekly, bi-weekly or four weekly basis.

Ours Truly A3 organic milk is available in 1-litre sustainable bottles and delivered to cusomers’ doorsteps.

Fulcher says the milk is currently available in Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty with plans to expand its reach. All packaging is either fully recyclable or reusable. Talks are also underway with selected retailers.

Other consumer dairy products are also in the pipeline.

Fulcher says there is great interest from local and overseas customers in A3 milk, including milk powder and infant nutrient products.

"Customers are showing great interest because we are delivering organic milk from A2/A2 cows with USDA organic certification.

"This offers complete traceability and gives great confidence to our customers."

ODH collects milk daily from its farmer base, stretching from Northland to Wairarapa. About 20% of the milk is turned into milk powders and nutritional products, which are processed at Waikato Innovation Park in Ruakura. These are generally exported to Australia and Asia, with some New Zealand customers now coming on stream.

ODH also has partnerships with boutique fresh milk consumer brand Lewis Road Creamery and iwi-owned Waiū Dairy in Kawerau.

Fulcher applauds the effort put in by ODH farmers. It takes three years to get farms certicied organic to the rigorous USDA NOP standard.

While ODH doesn't make its milk payout public, Fulcher says it is growing consistently and gives confidence to farmers who have experienced "you-yo-ing payouts" in the years before forming their own company.

Fonterra announced a $10-plus payout last season for its organic season.

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