New programme to foster high-value goat milk infant formula industry
A new Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme launched today has its sights on growing a sustainable, high-value goat milk infant formula industry in New Zealand.
Caprine Innovations NZ (CAPRINZ) is a 5-year, $29.65 million PGP programme between the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and Dairy Goat Co-operative (NZ) Ltd.
The end goals include improving the health and well-being of families, delivering a range of benefits such as growing research and farming capability and increasing export revenue across the New Zealand dairy goat milk industry to $400 million per annum by 2023.
The programme was launched today in Hamilton by Minister of Agriculture Hon Damien O'Connor.
"Our CAPRINZ PGP programme aims to strengthen the position of goats' milk infant formula as the preferred alternative to conventional milk infant formula," says Dairy Goat Cooperative chief executive David Hemara.
"We recognise breastfeeding as the best source of nutrition for babies and infants. Our aim through this PGP programme with MPI is to target consumers in New Zealand and overseas by meeting demand in situations wherebreastfeedingg requires supplementation or isn't feasible."
The CAPRINZ PGP programme will develop innovative tools to enable all New Zealand goat farmers to measure and improve their performance, while ensuring any economic gains don't come at the expense of the rural environment.
"Because many dairy goat farm systems use off-paddock animal housing facilities there's the opportunity to decrease the environmental impact of pastoral farming through conversions from other farming systems," says Mr Hemara. "Our programme aims to increase dairy goat numbers in the long term by 50% to over 100,000."
MPI director-general Martyn Dunne says the CAPRINZ PGP programme expects to deliver a number of industry-wide benefits.
"In addition to the economic benefits, the CAPRINZ PGP programme also aims to create more than 400 new jobs on-farm, improve dairy goat farming practice and sustainable production, and boost capability across the industry," says Mr Dunne.
"It will also grow New Zealand's research capability in the science of high-value nutrition and health, and establish a dairy goat research farm to deliver and trial its innovations.
"The CAPRINZ PGP programme meets our criteria for investment, such as an innovation focus, delivering economic and environmental benefits, and a focus on the value chain.
"Due to the uniqueness of our New Zealand pastoral farming, developments by the programme won't be able to be easily replicated overseas, ensuring benefits are retained in New Zealand.
"We're excited about the benefits expected from the programme and the difference it'll make for New Zealand's goat milk industry."
The Caprine Innovations New Zealand (CAPRINZ) programme was one of 9 business cases for new Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programmes in the pipeline prior to the announcement of the independent review of the PGP. The review was announced in late 2017.