Safeguarding Nature

Pasture Fed

Our farmers know how important a high quality diet is to goats. DGC goats thrive on locally grown, on-farm forages such as grasses, clover, lucerne, hay, silage or pasture plants. If short in supply they are sometimes also brought in from other trusted farms within New Zealand.

Milking goats are also given supplementary feeds which are high in protein and energy. One of DGC’s policies is that farmers use only New Zealand or Australian sourced supplementary feeds that are fit for the purpose of producing high quality and safe goat infant formula.

Farming system

Ranging from housed through to on-pasture, DGC farmers have a variety of different farming systems. However, the predominant system is to house goats in open-sided, free-stall barns and feed them on forages brought directly to them. They enjoy natural lighting and fresh air and can move freely through the shelter or barn. Another popular system is on-pasture grazing where the goats are taken to their feed.

Animal welfare

New Zealand has a strict Code of Welfare for Goats. It specifies what is considered to be optimal animal welfare and how this may be achieved for goats farmed under New Zealand conditions. DGC farms are all required to follow the New Zealand Code of Welfare for Goats and DGC’s own Code of Farm Practice.

DGC Code of Farm Practice

The DGC Code of Farm Practice has some expectations that are over and above the minimum requirements expected by the NZ government. Our 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. It encourages best farming practices for production of goat milk that is fit for the purpose of producing high quality and safe infant formula.

Written by an external auditing company with input from farming experts, DGC staff and dairy goat farmers, the DGC Code of Farm Practice also captures practical knowledge and experience with milking goats.

Find out more

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DGC TRUST

The Dairy Goat Co-operative’s 72 shareholders farm in some of New Zealand’s premium farming regions – Northland, Waikato and Taranaki. Their ability to do what they do, is enabled by the strength and resilience of the communities which they support, and which support them.

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Can Filling

The DGC can filling facilities are world class. On any day at DGC we can manufacture over 150,000 cans and fill over 90,000 cans. These are then sent to our warehousing and distribution facility where they await final safety tests before being released for export worldwide.

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Co-operation

We are a co-operative, owned by the farmers who supply goat milk. We believe in the enduring value of the co-operative model and our objective is to grow the wealth and security of our farmer shareholders, while at the same time providing consumers with a world-leading premium quality product.

Co-operative is also a word we use to describe our business style, which is built around sustainable and long-term relationships with our partners.

We believe that goat milk is the best base from which to make infant formula. It is not the cheapest, or the most commonly available, but we do believe it is the best.

We take our responsibility seriously to deliver safe and effective nutrition to infants and young children all around the world, and to deliver brands and products that parents trust.

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Allergy

There is a common belief that goat milk is a sound alternative for infants or children with cow milk protein allergy. This has resulted in the promotion of goat milk and goat milk products for relief of allergy. However, scientific studies show that goat milk is not always an effective substitute for cow milk in children who are already sensitised to cow milk protein and have a rapid onset, IgE-mediated reaction to cow milk proteins. Only extensively hydrolysed formulas should be used for the dietary management of infants with diagnosed cow milk protein allergy.1

There are several lines of evidence that the strength and type of the immune response to goat and cow milk might still differ. For example, children allergic to cow milk required nearly five times more goat milk to trigger an adverse reaction.2 In another study, 25% of children allergic to cow milk did not react to goat milk at all.3 Children with allergy to cow milk proteins had a lower response to goat milk containing low amounts of αs1-casein.4 Similarly, studies with animals have also shown that lower levels of αs1-casein in goat milk resulted in fewer allergic reactions.5

Further research will help to understand how people might respond differently to goat or cow milk. Until such studies have been completed, it is important that goat milk infant formula is not promoted as a remedy for infants with severe reactions to cow milk.

1 AAP 2000; Koletzko et al, 2012
2 Bellioni-Businco et al 1999
3 Infante et al 2003
4 Ballabio et al, 2011; Albenzio et al 2012; Lisson et al 2014
5 Bevilacqua et al 2001; Hodgkinson et al 2012