Farming System and Code of Practice

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.

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, DGC’s own Code of Farm Practice also captures practical knowledge and experience with milking goats.

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An infant goat milk formula made without palm oil

The fat content of formula must be modified to include several essential fatty acids. Many formulas are based on skim milk where the milk fat is replaced by vegetable oils, including palm oil.1

DGC has adopted an alternative approach, using whole goat milk to retain milk fat. Vegetable oils are still added to top up the essential unsaturated fatty acids in goat milk, but it is not necessary to use palm oil if milk fat is included in the formula.

Our research has also shown that there is also no need to use highly modified ingredients such as OPO.2

1 Delplanque et al, 2015
2 Prosser et al, 2010

Blending

Our state of the art blending plant enables us to add the additional nutrients required to meet regulatory and specific product requirements where necessary.

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.

Animal Welfare and Health

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 required to follow the New Zealand Code of Welfare for Goats as well as DGC’s own Code of Farm Practice.