Tuesday, 21 July 2020 08:53

Producing milk, the Miraka way

Written by  Staff Reporters
Miraka’s cream of the crop. Miraka’s cream of the crop.

The goal of Māori-owned dairy company Miraka, near Taupo, is to become the most sustainable dairy company in the world.

That's according to chief executive Richard Wyeth.

Speaking at a special ceremony to recognise its top farmer suppliers, those who have met additional goals in the way they farm and in the quality of their milk they produce, under a scheme known as Te Ara Miraka (The Miraka way).

Wyeth says achieving high standards of sustainability starts behind the farmgate. 

This means farmers applying environmentally sound practices to create climate resilient farms that produce some of the highest quality milk in the world.

Te Ara Miraka financially rewards any of its 101 suppliers who meet five criteria, namely – people, the environment, animal welfare, milk quality and prosperity. 

Within these there are 31 standards of which 13 are mandatory for farmers to meet. These in turn are extrapolated out into a points system – 100 all told. If a supplier passes the mandatory measures, they get some sort of incentive, but if they get the full 100 points they will get the extra 20c/kgMS at the end of the season. This is pro-rated down depending on how many points a farmer gets.

This year, 18 farms achieved a score or 90% or more and five farms a score of 100%. This is twice the number of farms that have achieved this score since the scheme was initiated four years ago.

Supplier Wayne Chamberlin, of Chamberlin Trust Farm, says achieving the top score was a challenge.

“The Te Ara Miraka framework is good as it keeps you on your toes,” he says. “It incentivises you to keep striving and stay focused right through the season, and new measures are added each year. Miraka’s approach aligns well with our own philosophy on our farm.” 

Chamberlin believes that if you look after the land and the animals, they will look after you.

Papatangi is one of five farms owned by the Te Raparahi Lands Trust. All five farms achieved an excellence score of 90% or above this season. Phillip Samuels says his trust is really proud to be suppliers to Miraka. 

“They are proactive to deal with and have a genuinely personal approach,” he says. 

“We never feel like we are being held back – Miraka encourages us to be innovative, to get out there and make things happen.”

Raising the bar

Miraka's general manager of milk supply, Grant Jackson says the aim of Te Ara Miraka is to get famers to raise the bar.

He says the goal is to make farmers strive for excellence in a wide range of areas including – animal welfare, sustainable land management and supporting staff. 

“This is about more than just meeting regulations, it’s to show what’s possible and to become true leaders in the industry.” 

Jackson says Te Ara Miraka is a dynamic programme. He says the pillars and criteria on which it was initially based will change so that farmers are incentivised to meet the new needs of consumers. 

Jackson adds that Miraka stays in close touch with its markets and food safety is now a given. However, he says consumers are now looking closely at the environmental and social aspects of food production.

He says Te Ara Miraka is based on real data and consumers can have confidence in claims the company is making in terms of its products.

“It provides credibility. We have independent assessments that are ISO accredited and we validate that through our data bases and our GIS spatial mapping to state exactly what is happening on farm.” 

More like this

Milking it?

Taupo-based dairy processor Miraka says it used Government funding to pay workers forced to stay home during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Miraka suppliers show gratitude

Farmers who supply Miraka dairy company, near Taupo, are sending videos to staff thanking them for being at work and processing their milk.

Featured

 

Limited feed puts ewes at risk

Severe feed shortages in parts of the country mean many ewes are on a nutritional knife-edge heading into lambing and could be at risk of developing metabolic disorders.

Jack’s unique solution

Jason Jack was left with severe spinal injuries after a wakeboarding accident when he was 29, but that hasn’t stopped him getting out and about in difficult environments.

National

$10 payout!

A small but select group of Fonterra farmers are on the cusp of setting a new milk payout record.

The migrant workers dilemma

Dairy farmers want more Kiwi workers, but they also want relaxed immigration restrictions. So, what's the problem?

Producing milk, the Miraka way

The goal of Māori-owned dairy company Miraka, near Taupo, is to become the most sustainable dairy company in the world.

Machinery & Products

Landpower invests in cow central

One of Australasia’s largest, privately-owned farm machinery distributors, Landpower is building a new $10 million complex adjacent to Hamilton Airport.

Maize moisture in a moment

With forage maize playing such an important part of the New Zealand fodder supply chain, a useful hand-held moisture measuring…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

A ticking timebomb?

There could be another dairy health scare brewing in China and this one starts in our backyard.

Please explain

Does anyone in the Government understand the essential role St John Ambulance has in our society?

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter