15 Aug 2012

More producers supply milk to Miraka

8:14 am on 15 August 2012

The first Maori-owned dairy factory says it is taking milk from any farm within an economical collection area.

The $90 million Miraka milk powder plant near Taupo opened a year ago and is mainly owned by Maori farming trusts, with one-fifth stake held by Vietnam's biggest dairy company, Vinamilk.

In its first year the plant topped production targets by 10% to process 170 million litres of milk, and executives expect to double its revenue in five years.

Miraka chief executive Richard Wyeth says the successful first year has attracted another 40 dairy farmers as suppliers for the second season, giving it a total of more than 90.

Mr Wyeth says some of those suppliers are from Tuwharetoa and Te Arawa but they also include many non-Maori farms which are close to the factory and make production more profitable.

Miraka's Maori values mean it has a long-term view and is focused on relationships, and this will slowly change the way the farmers who supply it operate, he says.