A Canterbury sheep milking business is looking to establish itself as a major player in the local industry, with plans to take on over 20 farmer suppliers in the next three years.
Matt and Tracey Jones from Sheep Milk New Zealand began commercially milking in 2019. As well as selling raw milk to other producers, they developed their own fresh milk product range Jones Family Farm and skincare range, Sabelle.
Matt Jones said Sheep Milk currently supplied two farmers and would be taking on five more this coming season, with an additional 17 lined up for the season after that.
He said they would build more processing facilities in due course.
From August 2022, Sheep Milk New Zealand would be sourcing milk from not just Canterbury farms but properties throughout the South Island.
Mr Jones said sheep milking was quite profitable in the North Island, and he hoped to bring those same benefits to the South. He said it would also create significant job opportunities, as the industry is growing and would become a long-term industry.
Some of the farmer suppliers coming on board were cow dairy farmers looking for a change. Sheep offered a lower environmental footprint and higher return per hectare.