Wednesday, 07 November 2018 07:55

More sheep milk needed

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Maui Milk general manager Peter Gatley. Maui Milk general manager Peter Gatley.

Maui Milk chairman Paul McGilvary says the company needs more sheep milk to meet market demand and achieve processing efficiency.

“We need bigger batches to give us processing efficiency and more product to make a splash in the market,” he says. “We’re prepared to send a tanker up to two hours from Hamilton so there’s plenty of scope for growth.”

The company processes its milk at Innovation Waikato and the resulting sheep milk powder is packed in sachets and sold in China.

Maui Milk general manager Peter Gatley says more sheep milk will help the company broaden its product range and embark on producing value-added products.

Its 25g sachets of sheep milk powder are marketed in specially designed boxes for export.

The company exports sheep milk powder to the Chinese market where it sells as a premium product liked by customers for its subtle flavours and creamy texture.

Sheep milk is better for human health than cow or goat milk, the company says. It is said to be easily digested and to contain more medium/short-chain saturated fatty acids which could help increase lactose absorption.

It is said to have higher levels of vitamins A, D, E  and C than either cow or goat milk and 50% more vitamin B12 than cow milk.

Gatley told Rural News that Maui Milk measures total solids including lactose; it aspires to match the dairy goat payout at about $17/kg. Sheep milk is about 18% solids so that works out at $3/L, so the prospect of a ewe earning over $1000 is possible, but two things need to happen. 

“We need to demonstrate a big lift in yield, and our marketers need to perform well to tap into the top end of the market. The dairy goat guys have done it, but they have 30 years head start.”

Gatley says a milking demonstration earlier this year impressed everyone as ewes competed to get on the 64-bail internal rotary imported from France. 

“At a rate of 1000 per hour with two milkers cupping, and automatic cup removers, it was an impressive performance.” 

 

More like this

$50m dryer for sheep milk

A new milk spray dryer to be built next year in Hamilton will help New Zealand’s advance in infant formula and specialty ingredients, say its investors.

Sheep milking farmers wanted

Farmers between Auckland and Taupo can now take the plunge into sheep milk, says Maui Milk general manager Peter Gatley.

Huge leap forward for sheep genetics

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (BLNZ) Genetics has launched a $5 million genetic evaluation system said to be a transformative step for the sheep industry. 

 
 

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

New career?

The Hound reckons former agriculture minister and speaker of the House David Carter is heeding calls for him to get…

One law for all?

The Hound would like to know why Greenpeace activists who break the law never get punished.

 
 

» Connect with Rural News