Today’s a big day for us. And the beginning, we hope, of New Zealand’s love affair with the world’s best drinking milk. Jersey milk.
Simply stated, we want to create New Zealand’s favourite milk. We’re doing that with a single-breed milk from the best breed of cow possible.
Not the best breed for pumping out volume. Not the best breed for dried powder being exported overseas.
But the best breed for delicious milk for New Zealanders drinking fresh milk every day. A milk that we can leave largely untouched from the farm to your fridge. A milk that really tastes like something, just as it is.
In a dairy producing nation, we think that’s the least we should be doing for our milk drinkers here at home.
For us, this is not some tucked away corner of the dairy aisle, this is milk that all New Zealanders deserve.
So today we’re launching a range of single-breed Jersey milk to sit proudly alongside our Organic range.
Jerseys are rightly famous for their milk. It’s high in butterfat, it’s creamier and has a distinctively velvety texture. Ask any barista who’s used pure Jersey about the different it makes to the coffee.
For us, this is much more than just another milk range, it’s a commitment to answering a question that we’ve asked ourselves ever since day one.
Why should New Zealand produce dairy ingredients for the world, without making sure we have the best dairy and dairy products available right here at home?
To us it was a mystery that while our farmers work so hard to produce the raw ingredient that’s behind dairy product, milk, we as a country seemed singularly focused on turning that wonderful ingredient into low cost commodities. It wasn’t so long ago that the dairy industry referred to butter as ‘yellow fat’.
At Lewis Road we cut our teeth on producing a range of butters that we could claim to rival the world’s best. They are gold award winners and have secured a firm position with New Zealanders as a premium butter that New Zealand can be proud of.
And then we turned our attention to milk. Much to our surprise, we realized that while New Zealand could produce terrific milk, producers were instead focused on stretching milk as far as possible. Wringing every last ounce out of it to make it go further. Stuffing cows full of PKE, the by-product of such a destructive and evil palm-oil industry, to reduce feed costs and increase volumes. Permeate, a previous waste product of cheese making, was mixed in with milk to make it go further. The end result is great if you want to dry the milk and sell it in massive quantities as a standardised powder to the rest of the world — but not if you want to actually taste it fresh from the bottle. Unfortunately for New Zealanders one milk mix was being used for both things.
So first we launched our Organic milks that tasted like milk should and we’ve since grown to a little over half of all organic milk sales in the country.
Lewis Road Creamery has been and remains a proud supporter of Organic milks. But organic milks are costly for the farmers to produce and those costs inevitably have to be passed on.
We knew there must be a way for more New Zealanders to get the milk they deserve. Single-breed Jersey milk is our answer.
The quality of Jersey milk and the passion farmers have for it, was brought home to Founder, Peter earlier this week when he attended the Jersey NZ conference in Dunedin. It was amazing to see the passion for their animals, their concern for our environment and their detailed knowledge of how to produce the best milk while looking after both those things.
It was a very special moment to be able to tell those Jersey farmers first about the launch of the first supermarket range of single breed, Jersey milks. The excitement was palpable.
Our Jersey milk is initially being provided by a Waikato farm, owned by Theland, which is just an exemplar of what dairying should be in New Zealand.
Headed up by the fantastic Justine Kidd, the cows are cared for every step of the way including a diet completely free from PKE.
Justine has gone to great lengths to carefully segregate our Jersey milk so that it is protected right through to bottling by Green Valley Dairy in Mangatawhiri.
There, the Green Valley team look after our milk just the same way as they do for our Organic ranges. There’s no permeate, ever. It’s pastuerised, as required by law, but that’s it. Into the bottle and on its way to you.
Now, this weekend is a big day in the world of milk. In fact, it’s World Milk Day on Saturday 1st June. A day established by the United Nations to recognise the importance of milk as a global food.
So, what better time to launch this new range of white milks that we think will change the milk chiller forever.
We expect Jersey milk to become a milk New Zealanders can truly be proud of. New Zealanders deserve it.