Co-operative business model
Dairy Goat Co-operative (N.Z.) Ltd (DGC) believes in the enduring value of the co-operative business model, which is based on maximising sustainable returns, wealth and future security for our farmer shareholders.
The main goat feeds are forages such as grasses, clover, lucerne, hay, silage or pasture plants that are grown on-farm or bought in from other farms within New Zealand. However, milking goats need other feeds that are high in protein and energy to supplement the nutrients from forages.
DGC’s policy is that farmers only use supplementary feeds that are sourced from New Zealand or Australia and are fit for the purpose of producing high quality and safe goat infant formula.
DGC does not allow just any feed to be given to milking goats. For instance, DGC does not permit feeds for goats that have copra or palm kernel expeller (PKE).
New Zealand has a Code of Welfare for Goats which specifies what is considered to be optimal animal welfare and how this may be achieved for goats farmed under conditions specific to New Zealand. DGC farms are required to follow the New Zealand Code of Welfare for Goats.
Just like children in schools who sometimes pick up illnesses from their class-mates, this can also happen to goats in a herd. DGC farmers are required to:
- segregate sick animals to ensure the illness is not spread to healthy animals and to avoid contamination of milk with veterinary drugs used to treat animals
- use management plans to maintain the health of their goats, thereby preventing illnesses. These plans cover things like providing adequate feed and shelter or applying sprays to prevent bacteria entering the udder
- constantly monitor the goats for early detection of an illness. Farmers check the condition, behaviour and yield of milk of their goats every day when they are milked.
DGC farmers utilise different farming systems. The first is a free range grazing system where the goats are taken to their feed. The more common system is when locally grown grass and forages are brought directly to the goats who are housed in open sided free stall barns. The goats still have exposure to natural lighting and fresh air can move freely through the shelter or barn.
DGC Farm Code of Practice
DGC has a Farm Code of Practice to encourage best farming practices for production of goat milk fit for the purpose of producing high quality and safe infant formula. The code is used to set world class benchmarks for milk harvesting, animal welfare, environmental issues, farm dairy presentation and milk quality consistent with infant formula products.
The DGC Farm Code of Practice was written by an external auditing company with input from farming experts, DGC staff and dairy goat farmers to capture their practical knowledge and experience with milking goats.
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DGC is one of New Zealand's leading exporters, with its premium range of consumer packaged nutritional powders exported to over 20 countries from its modern manufacturing facilities at Gallagher Drive, Hamilton.