The Dairy Goat Co-operative and the New Zealand government have partnered to launch a $29.7 million programme to grow the goat’s milk infant formula industry in New Zealand. The five-year partnership will see New Zealand’s Ministry of Primary Industries work alongside the co-operative under the name Caprine Innovations.

With the aim of increasing New Zealand's export revenue, Caprine Innovations will grow research capabilities and farming initiatives in the hopes that the industry will reach $400 million per annum by 2023. The research will look into creating tools for farmers to measure and improve their performance as well as ensuring that the economic gains don’t come at the expense of the environment.

Dairy Goat Co-operative chief executive David Hemara hopes that the initiative will increase the demand for goats’ milk as a preferred milk alternative. “Our Caprinz PGP (Primary Growth Partnership) programme aims to strengthen the position of goat’s milk infant formula as the preferred alternative to conventional milk infant formula.  Our aim through this PGP programme with MPI is to target consumers in New Zealand and overseas by meeting demand in situations where breastfeeding requires supplementation or isn’t feasible,” he said.

Ministry of Primary Industries director-general Martyn Dunne added that “In addition to the economic benefits, the Caprinz PGP programme also aims to create more than 400 new jobs on-farms, improve dairy goat farming practice and sustainable production, and boost capability across the industry. Due to the uniqueness of our New Zealand pastoral farming, developments by the programme won’t be able to be easily replicated overseas, ensuring benefits are retained in New Zealand. We’re excited about the benefits expected from the programme and the difference it’ll make for New Zealand’s goat milk industry.”