fbpx
Print this page
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

Miraka unhappy with rushed DIRA changes

Miraka chief executive, Richard Wyeth says the company was disappointed at the way the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act Bill (DIRA) was rushed through Parliament recently.

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

Look out for rural communities - RWNZ

Rural Women NZ is calling for a commitment to improving the health and well-being of rural families and enhancing rural communities’ reliance from all candidates at this year’s general election.

 

Prices expected to wax and wane

Expect more of the same as dairy prices on Global Dairy Trade (GDT) broke a two-month drought and posted an increase last week.

Beef+Lamb pushing for changes

Farmer-good organisation Beef+Lamb NZ (BLNZ) says it will continue to advocate for changes to the new fresh water regulations.

National

Live cattle exports in limbo

The fate of 28,000 cows in quarantine in New Zealand and supposedly destined for China in the coming weeks hangs…

Farm values down — REINZ

A floating and volatile situation – that’s how the Real Estate Institute of NZ rural spokesperson Brian Peacocke describes the…

Putting farmers first

The NZ agriculture sector is more than just a job for CRV Ambreed’s new managing director James Smallwood.

Graziers quitting!

Some Southland farmers who graze dairy cattle in winter say they will not do it next year.

Machinery & Products

Mowers get a makeover

Well known throughout New Zealand over the past 18 years, Pottinger has redesigned its rear-mounted Novadisc mowers to incorporate a…

Hardy spotlight

High quality, reliable lighting is essential for anyone involved in agriculture or the great outdoors.

Simmm twin water blasters

Italian made Simmm Power Cleaner 100/11 and Power Gun 100/11 single-phase (230 volt) electric water blasters are proving popular in…

OPD argument raging on

A stoush is brewing with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) heavily criticising Farmsafe Australia’s recent Safer Farm Report.