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There are currently five commercial sheep dairy operations in NZ. Three small operators making cheese or supplying milk to cheese makers and two large operators: Waituhi Kuratau Trust near Turangi currently produces own-brand yoghurt and milk for cheese makers, and (the much larger) Blue River Dairy near Invercargill producing cheese and powder mostly for export markets.
While sheep dairying has something of a chequered past in NZ, with a series of failed enterprises during the 1996-2004 period, the developing success of the current operators, changes to the global ‘palate’, various economic drivers and contributions from various institutions and entities has created significant interest in the industry’s further development in New Zealand - particularly as a producer of high-value specialty foods and related products that take advantage of ewe milk’s particular characteristics.
It is in response to this that Massey University’s Ewe Can Dairy Group together with AgResearch and with support from Landcorp, FoodHQ, Destination Manawatu, Agmardt, Lincoln University and the NZ Society for Animal Production will host the NZ Ewe Milk Product and Sheep Dairying Conference in the Manawatu on February 19th and 20th.
Five practical workshops addressing topics, issues, and problems surrounding (1) ewe milk product consumers and markets, (2) processing and manufacturing, (3) sheep dairy farm operations, (4) sheep genetics (5) industry structure and organization. We welcome contributions to these workshop please complete details on this paper (link)
Honorary guest: Keith Neylon (owner of Blue River Dairy),
International Guest: John Ryrie (Chair of the UK Sheep Dairy Association)
Local Guest: Lucy Cruickshank (2014 Nuffield Scholar).
Sheep Milk Exploratorium: Our conference engagement space that will feature sheep milking, product creation and sheep milk product sampling and tasting.
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Last updated on Tuesday 16 August 2016