A small Hawke's Bay milk producer has stepped up to supply milk to the local market after Anchor pulled its milk off shelves in the lower North Island because of a funny taste.
Anchor had complaints from customers about an unpleasant taste and an investigation found the cause was most likely brassicas, like [
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/333237/turnips-and-swedes-behind-strange-tasting-milk turnips or swedes], fed to cows when grass was scarce.
Origin Earth milk in Hawke's Bay is similar to old-fashioned milk in that it is pasteurised, but not homogenised, so consumers notice some cream separation.
Co-owner Joanie Williams said she first heard of the recall when a customer called to ask if Origin Earth could fill their shelves with milk.
"Long story short we said 'yes' and then just altered our production planning to deliver on what we said we could do."
Ms Williams said she was surprised that milking cows would be fed brassica in winter months, when the ground was so wet.
"Anyone who has seen brassica getting grazed would realise they are getting break fed and in wet conditions it's probably not ideal for milking cows.
"My main comment would be that feed alters the taste of milk, that's a definite. Winter milk will taste different to milk at other times of the year, equally as spring or summer milk will have a different taste."
She said different feed, lactation, sun shine hours and various environmental factors also affected the taste of milk.
"We celebrate seasonal variation and we think that it's a great thing. As a consequence we don't standardize or alter our milk at all - it's picked up from the farm, pasteurized and then straight out the door to the customer."