Organic raw milk sales boom

KAY BLUNDELL
Last updated 05:00 01/04/2011

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Organic raw milk sales from the farm gate are thriving as prices in supermarkets spiral upwards.

Sarah Morgan and partner Dave O'Donnell, who run 70 cows on their farm near Palmerston North, started selling organic milk at the gate about six months ago and sales had grown from about 10 bottles a week to 50-to-100.

Their two-litre bottles cost $3, compared with up to $4.80 for branded pasteurised two-litre containers in the supermarket.

One of their first customers was a man with six children who bought milk every second day.

"There is a definite niche market; we take pleasure supplying our local community, providing an alternative to supermarkets," Ms Morgan said. "We are not going to make a fortune from it. The price is important to some people, but most want the health benefits of raw milk.

"People love the taste of organic full-cream milk – it takes them back to days when they used to drink raw milk. It tastes better and we know it is better for you. Pasteurisation kills a lot of good enzymes."

They provide most of their milk to Fonterra, and are allowed to make gate sales of up to $5 an item. Fonterra tests their milk every second day.

Milk clubs have also been springing up around New Zealand selling raw milk prepaid from farm gates and through deliveries. Others have joined milk share schemes, in which people buy a share in a cow and get a share of its milk.

What do you pay for your milk? Have your say.

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