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New Zealand's Sheep Milk Industry to Grow with New Investment

06 September 2016

NEW ZEALAND - New Zealand's fledgling sheep milk industry has received a significant boost today with approval of the business case for a new Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme between the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and Spring Sheep Milk Co.

The new 'Sheep – Horizon Three' PGP programme aims to develop a market driven, end-to-end value chain generating annual revenues of between $200 million and $700 million by 2030.

MPI will be investing $12.56 million (40 per cent) into the new programme with Spring Sheep Milk Co investing $18.83 million, representing a total investment of $31.39 million over its six year life.

Spring Sheep Milk Co Chief Executive Scottie Chapman says with PGP support, sheep milk represents a unique opportunity for New Zealand to build a high-value sheep milk industry. 

"Internationally, there is significant and growing demand for sheep milk, especially from Asia, where consumers like its nutritional value, flavour and digestibility.

"With the right approach, New Zealand is in an ideal position to develop the sheep milk products to meet this demand. Our PGP programme with MPI allows us to do that in a planned and systematic way so we create a high-value, sustainable industry from the get-go," says Mr Chapman.

Mr Chapman says the Sheep – Horizon Three PGP programme provides real opportunity for those people already involved in sheep milking, and those who want to enter the industry.

"To achieve a sheep milk industry delivering domestic and export returns at the upper range of $700 million, New Zealand will need up to 55 farms managed by farmers with specific sheep milking expertise," he said. "The current farming model in New Zealand won’t achieve this, which is why this joint investment between ourselves and MPI is so critical."

MPI and Spring Sheep Milk Co are now negotiating a contract so the programme can formally begin.

TheSheepSite News Desk