“Healthier” milk?

Marks and Spencer is to become the first retailer in Britain to launch a brand of “healthier” milk.

The milk is said to have at least 6% less saturated fat than standard milk due to a tailored dairy cow diet -trialled last year – that features the removal of all palm oil.

I haven’t seen the results of any scientific studies on the affect of palm oil on milk quality and its fat content but diet does impact on the quantity and quality of milk produced by animals and people.

Babies of vegan mothers who fully breast feed don’t get enough fat for brain development and healthy physical growth.

To support farmer suppliers who convert to the new feed regime, M&S will introduce a new payment contract for farmers who achieve the reduced saturated fat level. M&S says the contract will recognise any additional costs incurred.

This is how the market should work. The end user tells farmers what it wants and is prepared to pay a premium to compensate for the added costs of producing it.

Fonterra should keep a very close eye on this development for two reasons: palm kernel is used as a feed supplement here and could be affecting the quality of milk produced; and there could be a premium for our milk, most of which is supplied by free range, grass-fed cows.

7 Responses to “Healthier” milk?

  1. Andrei says:

    The fact remains that the “healthier” milk as marketed by M&S will be a boutique product targeted at wealthier consumers and as such will not provide opportunities for the bulk of dairy farmers.

    In truth Henry Ford’s great insight was that if he could manufacture an automobile and sell it for a price such that it affordable by the people who worked in his factories then he’d be onto a winner.

    This would be that there were many times the number of potential customer in the income bracket of his workers as there were rich the only people buying autos at the time he had his insight, which also meant of course they were at that time more toys for the rich than everyday items which would bring opportunity, wealth and freedom to untold millions,.

    It worked of course and in the process changed the world, which of course included substantially raising the standard of living of his own workers.

    The real trick if you want to market dairy products overseas in volume is to figure out a way to sell them cheaply enough so that people in Jakarta say can afford them and want to buy them because there are a darn sight more people in Indonesia than there are yuppie housewives in London.

    Of course the people of Indonesia are a lot poorer, a great deal poorer than those of England, but it is in our interests to help address this by buying stuff from them.

    things like palm kernal to feed our dairy cows.


  2. robertguyton says:

    Palm oil or palm kernel expeller?

    Don’t buy palm kernel expeller from Indonesia. You are provoking environmental destruction by doing so. If you want to help the poor Andrei, do something ethically sound instead.


  3. Andrei says:

    What is the matter with you Robert Guyton!

    Do you not understand that you live in a country which provides education from the age of three to seventeen for all its citizens and health care.

    And a country where people don’t die in the streets and lie there for hours or even days before someone gets around to picking them up.

    And where kids don’t live in huts made out of old corrugated iron and discarded polythene on garbage dumps .

    I could go on but my point is the benefits and comforts we enjoy come almost entirely from the fact that starting about 150 years ago people began to clear land and turn it into pasture, Pasture which feeds us all and the surplus produced thereon is sold overseas enabling us to buy things we don’t make here and import them to use – things like your computer and your car.

    So if the Indonesians want to clear land and turn it into plantations which produce a useful and saleable commodity it is utter hypocrisy for you from your position of comfort and privilege to criticize.

    The fact that doing this will help bring schools, hospitals and even more basic things like electricity and telephones etc to areas where they might not currently exist and are primitive if they do seems totally beyond your grasp..


  4. Andrei says:

    Of course what is even more cretinous about those objecting to PKE as cattle food is that it is a waste product of Palm Oil Extraction and that what doesn’t get fed to cows is burnt in situ.

    Much better for all to feed it to cows – much more environmentally friendly and less wasteful.


  5. robertguyton says:

    Andrei – your head’s on loose!
    In a nut-shell (appropriate in your case) –
    “Fell the rainforests of the world – people need that land to farm cows!”
    Your world-view has the breadth and depth to match that of a goose!


  6. Andrei says:

    Never said anything of the sort Robert Guyton – why do you make stuff up?

    Have you ever been to Cambridge in the Waikato? That is a lovely town, neat and tidy, prosperous. And its prosperity derives from the rich rich farmland that surrounds it. Rich land, easy country to farm = wealth. It means a flourishing pharmacy, busy supermarkets with big turnovers, saddlers and so forth.

    On the other hand another NI town which I wont name that I know is surrounded by steep scrubby country where a few farmers graze a few sheep.

    And this town is most woeful. The biggest source of income there is BENEFITS. And it is a miserable sorry little town. Last time I was there, a few years ago now the hostility of the locals was palpable.

    Horrible place.

    The thing if someone found an opportunity that would generate an income for the people in that town, for them to earn a good living and lots of money coming in then it would improve. Things would get better for the people in that sad place.

    Which would be a good thing all round don’t you think?


  7. robertguyton says:

    Nope, not all round.
    I’ve been to Cambridge Andrei.
    Tell me about that river.
    I doesn’t look at all well.
    I didn’t see much in the way of native forest, kiwi or kokako.
    Tell me about those Andrei.
    Or do you regard anything that was here before farming as ‘horrible’?
    Big supermarkets? Glorious! I’m completely sold on your vision Andrei.
    It would do you an enormous good to Google ‘permaculture’ and study that concept for a while. There’s a balance to be struck between human activity and the natural world. You’ve weighted it far too far to the unsustainable side and it’s bound to tip over.


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