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Lincoln lecturers taking control of the supply chain

9/05/2017 9:30:00 a.m.

Lincoln University Agribusiness academics Guy and Sue Trafford are walking the talk and taking control of the supply chain, after a frustrating year trying to get their sheep milk to market.

The husband and wife have their own sheep dairy business. They are utilising their expertise to manufacture and market the product, and using their experiences as a case study.

They have had issues securing processors and distributors so have decided to take the ram by the horns, and in the number 8 wire spirit, take control of the supply chain to do it themselves.

They are hoping people will flock to their sheep milk yoghurt stand at the planned Farmers’ Market in Christchurch.

They will even process other supplier’s milk.

“We hope to become the processor of choice for local sheep milk.”

The initial product offering will be for the local market, though he envisages the Farmers’ Market will be a mix of locals and tourists.

They are not ruling out sheep ice-cream and the export market in the long term.

He says sheep milk is better for lactose intolerant people, which is a problem in China, as the chemical make-up of the milk is different to cow’s milk.

“They are cow-lactose intolerant,” so it has potential there.

Sue says the milk also has a fuller taste than cow’s milk.

“A nice mouth flavour.”

It also is the only milk which can be frozen, allowing a year round supply.

The stall, to be set up in 2018/19, will run seven days a week and the team could also sell in supermarkets, and hope to be producing 10,000 litres a week by then.

It’s untested ground, but with everything ready to go but the processing it’s about getting control of your own destiny.

How does Guy think it will go?

“We’ll just have to suck it and see.”
Photo Credits; First image: Stacey Squires Fairfax NZ, main image: Cosmo Kentish-Barnes RNZ

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