23 Feb 2015

Sheep milk 'key for Asian market'

9:02 am on 23 February 2015

A Lincoln University lecturer says farmers need to tap into the opportunities sheep milk products can offer, especially in Asian markets.

Farm management and agribusiness lecturer Guy Traffordspoke at a Sheep Dairying conference at Massey University last week.

He said with more than 30 million sheep, New Zealand should seriously consider sheep milk as a viable industry.

He was also putting his belief in the industry to the test and manufacturing ice-cream from sheep's milk.

He said interest in sheep dairying was growing amongst smaller farms looking to increase profits, however, the meat industry is slower coming on board.

"At an industry level, New Zealand really needs to be looking offshore and export and probably into Asia where most of the markets are."

He said that a low tolerance for lactose-type products, which can be common in Asia, can be dealt with using sheep's milk.

"We think there's going to be a rapidly increasing demand for high end products like sheep milk, where they can enjoy them like the rest of us without having the negative effects of lactose intolerance."