Sheep milk good for green image

by Anonymous Author

New Lincoln research points to sheep dairy better fulfilling New Zealand’s green credentials than its cow counterparts.

Dr Nic Lees, a senior lecturer in Agribusiness Management at Lincoln University co-authored the paper ‘Competitive advantage through responsible innovation in the New Zealand sheep dairy industry’.

His research finds, rather than competing on cost the sheep dairy industry should promote sustainability and environmental benefits.

“Future environmental constraints make milking sheep a more sustainable option than milking cows in New Zealand,” Dr Lees said.

“Sheep do not have the same nitrogen leaching effect as cows because they have a lower volume of urine, and sheep milk also has health benefits. By emphasising these attributes in marketing, sheep dairy products could obtain market advantage and could potentially gain higher product premiums.

“At the same time, this would help meet the requirement for environmentally sustainable agricultural production.

“Furthermore, consumers are increasingly looking for foods that align with their personal values, such as environmental sustainability, animal welfare, fair trade and organic production.

Dr Lees said it is estimated that the demand for sheep milk is growing by up to 20% each year.