Flipp family's new traceable organic milk launched by Kapiti
Letting milk drinkers know where food comes from is behind Kapiti's launch of traceable organic milk sourced from Oroua Downs in Manawatu.
Single Farm Organic Milk has just hit the market and Kapiti brand manager, Kevin Taffs said all organic milk buyers were their market.
He said buyers wanted to know the origin of their milk. "They want to know where their milk comes from, and this provides that. The Flipp family produces the organic milk, which goes in a single tanker load to Kapiti's Palmerston North processor where it is not contaminated by any other product."
Single Farm Organic Milk is sold by Kapiti Fine Foods, owned by Fonterra.
The Flipp family has 300 cows calving in spring, and a further 300 which calved in autumn, so they provided organic milk year round.
The operation is a family affair involving the parents, three siblings and their children.
Mark Flipp said the 600 cows produced 227,000 milk solids a year.
"We do the easy bit, produce the milk and put int in the tank, Kapiti does all the hard work from there, processing, distributing and marketing," he said.
The Flipp farm had been organic for seven years and was checked by AsureQuality to ensure it met organic guidelines.
"Before 2010 it was a conventional farm, but we were half way there to organics. It was full grass-fed operation. We didn't ever jump on the bandwagon of supplementary feed," said Flipp.
The whole family supports organic milk production.
"We're really proud to be able to share the milk that we enjoy on the farm with the rest of New Zealand. We've stayed true to our roots working with the land and the weather to make the best milk we can. Some people might even find the milk tastes sweeter due to the organic fertiliser we use."
"It's great to know that we can give people the peace of mind to know that what they are consuming has been organically grown and produced, just the way it used to be."
Deborah Wonnocott said the family was excited that their milk was going to a single farm milk product. She is a sister of the Flipp brothers, Mark and Darryl.
The family was pleased it had made the move to organics, said Darryl Flipp, who looks after the heifers and young stock.
"The heifers don't get in-calf until they are two-years-old," he said. "They are fully grown by then."
He said the stock was drenched with an organic product and he could tell by the smell and their effluent when cows had a worm burden.
The transition to organic status was difficult but the soil, pasture and cows were healthier now.
"It is magic. I would never go back to conventional diary farming, said Darryl Flipp.
The Flipps farmed on sandy soil which was not top land for dairying.
"We mainly have ryegrass and white clovers and native grasses. If you sow new grass, after five years it has other pasture plants through it and has reverted," said Mark Flipp.
Taffs said the Flipps' organic milk was sold in 750 millilitre bottles and in 1.25 litre containers.
Organic milk retailed for about $5.49 for a 1.25 litre bottle.
Kapiti marketing manager Margaret O'Sullivan said organics were going mainstream.
"In New Zealand, two out of three Kiwis buy organic at least occasionally, equating to a $217 million spend a year. Nearly all the growth in the milk market is coming from organic milk sales."
She said the main reason quoted by 70 per cent of organic buyers for buying organic foods and beverages was the perceived health benefit for themselves and their families.
"Kapiti's new single source organic milk, available nationwide, comes from a farming family who are passionate about the virtues of organic farming. This means you know where your milk comes from, direct from farm to fridge."