SheepMilkNZ November Newsletter

SheepMilkNZ November Newsletter (pdf version)

Upcoming Events:

2019 SheepMilkNZ Conference, March 19-20 Mystery Creek  Registration opening  in early December.

Conference will feature: Early results from human sheep milk study, market research reports, farm visits, International speakers Sandy and Julie Cameron, Meredith Dairy (and much more!)

SheepMilkNZ November Newsletter___________________________________________________


Ravenwood Family of Fernglen, Wairarapa, launch new sheep milk ‘Performance Protein’ product

 NZ has a brand new sheep milk product! It’s a performance protein shake in three flavoured produced by the Ravenwood family and their sheep of Riversdale in the Wairarapa and manufactured and bottled at the Kingsmeade factory near Masterton. Congratulations to Jeff and the gang (two legged and four!). For further details please follow up via the following links:




Antara building flocks and planning sheep milk restart  in 2019

NZ’s largest sheep milk producer, Antara AG, has taken a break from milking this season  to focus on developing their numbers of higher producing dairy sheep. Antara GM Jazz Hewittson however said he expected to be able to make an announcement in relation to the 2019 season in the New Year. For the moment, he said they were focusing on building their flocks of higher producing dairy sheep for the new  season. Antara AG is owned by Southland entrepreneur Keith Neylon and has produced annually the raw milk equivalent of about 1000 tonnes of sheep milk powder  from up to 20,000 ewes.

Ed’s Note: Neither Antara nor Blue River, their manufacturing partner of the last three years, were able to discuss publicly the halt to supply for this season.



Changing the face of NZ Dairy

Blue River manufactures  cow, goat and sheep milk-based infant formulas at its Invercargill plant. The company was recently named the fastest growing NZ agribusiness firm, the NZ’s fastest growing exporter and was ranked fourth overall in the Deloitte Fast 50 index with growth of 938 percent over two years (See award story). Blue River’s Chinese owner also has a stake in Sardinian sheep milk manufacturer, Alimenta. Europe is a key strategic location for sheep whey powder production and this is a critical ingredient in infant formula manufacture.

Blue River marketing and supply chain manager Gareth Lyness said the company had bought sheep milk powder from Europe and from NZ for its sheep milk infant formula. He said that Blue River remained very keen to see the NZ sheep milk industry flourish but ‘our business has to be successful’. He said the reality was that NZ’s total production of sheep milk powder is currently less than what the company processes. Sheep milk is becoming a global commodity and the success of the business meant it needed to be competitive on the global stage by procuring quality ingredients at competitive prices.


Big numbers flock to  official opening of Spring Sheep’s new hybrid farm near Cambridge

Monavale opening

Spring Sheep’s 2018 young stock

Tawhare Road cow to sheep conversion farm visit

More than 250 people attended the official opening of Spring Sheep Milk Company’s new Monavale hybrid sheep milk farm near Cambridge on November 13. The opening and farm tour took in the new barns, lamb rearing unit and milking parlours. Those attending were also treated to a look at the company’s new cow-sheep conversion farm at Tauwhare Road.






Equally big numbers at Maui Milk Open day


Farmers listening to Maui presentations on milk supply options                          

Paul McGilvary, Maui chairman leading the presentations

Maui Milk’s  November 21 Open Day, which including a milking demonstration and presentation to potential farmers of a Maui milk supply opportunity also attracted large numbers to Waikino.  Wednesday’s presentation included draft farm budget and details of the supply of rams to farmers for next season (see further stories below backgrounding the Maui open day).  For a copy of the presentation please contact Fiona Sherlock at this email address:

Maui Milk Open day background

  1. The Country, Milking Sheep edition with Peter Gatley:
  2. Sheep Milk farmers wanted (Rural New Report on Maui offer and open day) also earlier report.
  3. Sheep milk craze? (more from Peter Gatley)

Other News

  1. Waikato Sheep milk spray drier details released (Rural News)and earlier report (NZ Herald)
  2. AgResearch lamb rearing workshop report
  3. US organics pioneer Gary Hirshberg  on NZ food and farming (and sheepmilk)


  1. Rebuilding: Scottish Dairy sheep and cheese producers involved in e-coli outbreak
  2. Review of lactose free foods (academic paper)


Halloumi shortage:

  1. Halloumi market expansion and china
  2. More on the Halloumi shortage:
  3. More cheeses to try given Halloumi cheese shortage
  4. Cypriot farmers struggling to keep up with halloumi demand


  1. Grilled sheep cheese award:
  2. World champions of cheese competititon report
  3. New line of Lactose- free Burgarian cheese launched:
  4. Sheep milk icecream (with truffles)
  5. Sheep milk kefir antimicrobial and antioxidant testing(academic paper)


  1. Technology firm links to  China sheep and goat milk expansion


  1. Small EF Starter flock (Blenheim)


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