NZ Dairy – Autumn 2021
Check out the fresh milk section starting from p28

A growing drive by consumers to seek out healthful foods is being reinforced in recent times by the drive to support local businesses, and Village Milk is helping New Zealand dairy farmers and provide their communities with increasingly sought-after, healthy, and delicious raw milk at the farm gate. 

Since 2011, Takaka-based Mark and Phillipa Houston have been selling real raw drinking milk at the farm gate under the brand Village Milk, a business which grew to include the New Zealand distribution of DF Italia dispensing vending machines, then consultancy services for dairy farmers.  

Village Milk managing director Richard Houston says the enthusiasm for real milk is growing in New Zealand, as people love the taste and they love the health benefits. 

He says when people come to the farm gate for milk at 10am, they’re getting milk that’s only been harvested a couple of hours before, and is at the most pristine structural condition. “From our dispensers, the milk has only been pumped twice, into the dispenser and then into the bottle. Every time milk is pumped, its structure is broken  up, changing the taste and giving the body less of a chance to utilise every nutritional element it has to goer.”

Raw milk also bypasses the pasteurisation process intended to destroy harmful bacteria, but at the same time destroys beneicial bacteria, vitamins, and enzymes.

The Government’s Raw Milk for Sale to Consumers Regulations 2015 has been developed to minimise the risks of raw milk to public health, and Village Milk’s consultancy services has helped farmers to understand and adhere to these regulations, and produce the highest quality milk possible. With hundreds of machines installed throughout Europe, DF Italia was founded in 2004 with the production of raw milk automatic dispensers. DF Italia has since evolved into the design and production of a wide range of vending machines dispensing all types of products, liquid and packaged, at controlled or ambient temperature.

Mark and Phillipa use DF Italiamilk dispensing machines, which they found to be a machine with well engineered and reliable componentry, all built around the integrity of the milk. “DF Italia dispensing machines have a monitoring and alarm system, beautiful pumping equipment, and nicely inished stainless steel tanks,” Richard says.

“They come in various sizes from 150L up 1800L, and in single and double units where two people can dispense milk at the same time. We can get quite busy here at Village Milk, when school inishes up until the after work rush, and some people arefilling multiple bottles.”

A separate DF Italia dispenser holds milk bottles and lids. The machines can be installed indoors and outdoors, anywhere there is an electrical connection. They give customers the ability to buy fresh, high quality milk 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Richard says farm gate milk sales are ideally suited to farms which are located close to population and with good road access. A small herd isn’t essential, and some of Village Milk’s operators also run commercial herds through the same shed. “We recommend commercial operators run a micro-herd and harvest their raw milk through a really clean shed, with the main herd coming in after.”


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