`High demand’ for raw milk

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Henderson Dairy is the only registered raw milk farm in Southland.
Raw milk is defined by the Ministry for Primary Industries as milk that has not been pasteurised.
Geoff Henderson and his wife, Beth, have owned their dairy farm in Pukerau for 25 years and have sold raw milk since November 2015.
Mrs Henderson said the couple started selling the milk because people started asking for it.
“There is a high demand for raw milk in Gore.”
From March last year new rules – the Raw Milk for Sale to Consumers Regulations 2015 –┬ácame in, specifying who was allowed to sell raw milk.
There were strict guidelines regulating the sale of the milk, because it was not pasteurised.
The regulations required raw milk to come from specified cows in the herd.
Out of the Henderson Dairy herd of 280 cows, the Hendersons milk only 12 cows for raw milk.
Mrs Henderson said she took orders for raw milk so they knew how much milk was needed.
Some people pick up their orders from the farm, but Mrs Henderson also delivers to Gore on Tuesday and Friday mornings.
The milk has to be sold within 30 hours of being collected, so the Hendersons milk their cows the night before delivery.
The couple sell around 700 litres of raw milk a month.
The age range of their customers varies from older people who drank raw milk as a child through to younger people who have recently started drinking raw milk.
The milk is delivered in glass bottles.
“People say it reminds them of when milk used to be delivered.”
Mr Henderson said that under the new regulations, the bottles must carry a label recommending customers heat the milk to 70degC for one minute. However, by doing this they were pasteurising the milk, which was defeating the purpose of buying raw milk in the first place, Mr Henderson said.
The Hendersons also sell and deliver free-range eggs to Gore residents and sell the surplus eggs at the farm gate.