Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed a new Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme announced aimed at boosting New Zealand’s sheep milk industry.
The new $31.4 million, six-year PGP programme called ‘Sheep – Horizon Three’ is a partnership between Spring Sheep Milk Co. and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
“This is an exciting and comprehensive programme aimed at boosting New Zealand’s sheep milk industry which has huge potential,” says Mr Guy.
“It will involve new genetics, new farming systems and developing high premium niche products. New Zealand operators will be involved in all parts of the value chain.
“There is increasing demand for sheep milk products, particularly in Asia, where many people are intolerant to cow’s milk. We have a massive opportunity to tap into this market, and further position New Zealand as a producer of premium products.
“The programme is expected to generate annual revenues of at least $200 million by 2030 from sheep milk and new, high-value related products like ice-cream. This return could be as high as $700 million if the programme hits its aspirational targets.”
The global sheep milk industry is estimated to be worth $6.5 billion and is growing strongly.
MPI and Spring Sheep Milk Co. are now negotiating a contract so the programme can formally begin later this 2016. MPI will be investing $12.56 million (40 percent) into the new programme with Spring Sheep Milk Co investing $18.83 million.
As part of the contracting process MPI and Spring Sheep will agree how other sheep dairy operators will be able to benefit from the programme, including the supply of milk to Spring Sheep and open access to improved dairy sheep genetics and knowledge.