An award winning 14.9 hectare Patumahoe, South Auckland farm, one of the country’s largest dairy goat operations, sold in September.
Listed for sale by Mark and Kane Needham of PGG Wrightson Real Estate, Pukekohe, Oakdale Farm, which was the Auckland Regional Supreme Winner in the 2020/21 Ballance Farm Environment Award and also featured on Country Calendar that year, was purchased by New Zealand Dairy Goats Limited.
Robert Milne, Chief Executive Officer of New Zealand Dairy Goats, says the property fits well with his company’s sustained growth trajectory.
“Adding this farm has enabled us to increase stock numbers by 50 per cent, while we are also acquiring and developing a third farm. Longer term, we aim to carry more than 17,000 goats.
“Goats have a long history. After dogs, goats are believed to be the second animal that humans domesticated, around 10,000 years ago. They also have a promising future, with the Ministry for Primary Industries projecting export receipts for New Zealand goat milk infant formula to double from $1.4 billion to $2.8 billion per annum over the next five years,” says Rob.
New Zealand Dairy Goats is currently in the market raising finance to fulfil its expansion goals.
Mark Needham describes the property as one of New Zealand’s foremost goat milk operations.
“Leading the way with cutting-edge technology and plant, and driven by a philosophy that combines profitability with a broadly sustainable approach, Oakdale Farm, which was converted from milking cows in 2013, is one of the largest of its sector in New Zealand.
“Milking over 3000 goats per day, this operation has invested in location and environmental plans, while also working on a strong agronomy-based feed supply, developing specific blends for its intensive cut and carry operation. Focusing on animal welfare as well as emphasising environmental performance, initiatives include riparian planting around a wetland, retiring gullies, active pest management, and recycling and energy efficiency measures, such as the installation of a solar array to generate power, and the use of converted electric golf carts on the farm.
“We are delighted to have negotiated a deal for this excellent property with one of the foremost operators in this fast growing sector,” he says.
Dairy goats in New Zealand, including on Oakdale Farm, are housed in covered barns and sustained via a variety of feeding strategies, which includes careful monitoring of the pasture mix to optimise animal health and performance. Keeping goats under cover prevents them from developing foot rot and worms, and since their fibre doesn’t contain lanolin, it will not repel water in the way that sheep’s wool will, which is why goats are kept indoors, to remain as comfortable and therefore as productive as possible. “New Zealand Dairy Goats was founded in 2019 with the intention to develop a dairy goat milking business of sufficient size to generate economies of scale not achieved by existing smaller operators, and longer term to progress past the farm gate through strong partnerships and evaluating product opportunities,” says Robert Milne.
Compared to cows, goat’s milk, which is naturally homogenised, has multiple health benefits, including anti-inflammatory effects on people with eczema, dermatitis and asthma. Unlike other alternative milks, which require extensive processing, goats’ milk has the lowest carbon footprint. Dairy goats produce 72 per cent less methane and 62 per cent less nitrous oxide emissions on a per kilogram of milk solids basis than dairy cows.