Friday, 01 March 2024 15:41

Feds offer support for Maui Milk suppliers

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
About 15 farmers in Waikato were told to end their 2023-24 season via an email from the company. About 15 farmers in Waikato were told to end their 2023-24 season via an email from the company.

Federated Farmers is arranging support for a small group of dairy sheep farmers in the North Island, who were told this week to stop milking by processor, Maui Milk.

About 15 farmers in Waikato were told to end their 2023-24 season via an email from the company.

Feds Rotorua/Taupo president Colin Guyton told Rural News that he had spoken briefly to one Maui Milk supplier, who had spent a few days looking for an alternative processor and then decided to dry off her flock.

Guyton says he believes other Maui suppliers will be in a similar position. Drying off earlier means loss of income for the farmer suppliers.

He says Feds representatives are trying to get in touch with these farmers and offering them support through the Rural Support Trust.

Guyton says while he doesn’t know the reason behind Maui Milk’s decision to stop collecting milk, the move will cause anxiety and financial hardship for farmer suppliers.

“These farmers won’t have a lot of faith in Maui Milk going forward,” he says.

“I don’t know whether Maui is in financial difficulty but their decision is causing a lot of concern and anxiety for farmers.

“I have asked Feds officials to arrange support for these farmers through the Rural Support Trust for things like mental health.”

Maui Milk, established in 2014, and made sheep milk powder and infant milk formula for export.

Since 2015, Maui’s genetic programme created the Southern Cross breed, now registered as a new breed by the NZ Sheep Breeders Association. Maui says it’s suppliers have easy access to new Southern Cross rams every season which assures them of genetic gain and genetic diversity.

In 2021, Maui Milk became part of the Maui Group to align the genetics programme, milk production, processing and marketing businesses.

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