On the outskirts of Masterton in the Wairaprapa, Kingsmeade makes 14 different varieties of cheese, half of these from ewes’ milk. Miles and Janet King sell their cheese through their delicatessen and premium stores such as Moore Wilson’s in Wellington. For decades, New Zealand pioneers like Miles and Janet have challenged conventional farming, creating sustainable methods for the artisan market, with recognition New Zealand appreciate wholesome foods that are closely connected to their origin.
Like Kingsmeade, Origin Earth in Hawke’s Bay is another business successfully manufacturing fresh milk, cheese and yogurt for the local artisan market. They make products for their own brand, as well as others like The Drunken Nanny. Joanie and Richard Williams of Origin Earth opened their manufacturing facility in 2010. The plant can process 24,000 litres per shift and is currently running at 50% capacity, providing plenty of scope for growth. Although most of the product is pasteurized bovine milk, the company also makes pasteurized sheep milk, with 10% of the product manufactured into yogurt and cheese. Origin Earth continue to innovate to meet consumer needs and minimise their environmental footprint. A recent creation for their retail customers was an 18-litre returnable container, an initiative that’s significantly reduced traditional milk bottle waste.
Another local success story is The Drunken Nanny, which produces a range of goat milk products from milk sourced from their farm near Martinborough. With the product development support of the New Zealand Cheese School in Putaruru and ability to access the manufacturing facilities at Origin Earth, owners Amanda and Lindsey Goodman have been able to establish The Drunken Nanny brand. Moving from strength to strength, the business won Silver and Bronze at the 2017 New Zealand Champion of Cheese awards.
Aside from their connection to the sheep and goat milk sector, a common ingredient in the growth of these businesses has been their willingness to collaborate with others – not just customers and suppliers but those who might at first be deemed competitors. Collaboration gives businesses the chance to extend their capabilities by accessing the resources of others, without the same level of investment otherwise needed if going it alone.
If you are looking for an opportunity to collaborate with others in the sheep and goat sector, please get in touch with our team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We are keen to tell your stories and promote your capabilities and services.