Organic Milk on Tap
BioGro certified company, Jersey Girls Organics are ‘making waves’ in their community by selling pasteurised, organic milk to people via fill-your-own dispensing machines.
For Jersey Girls’ manager, Mary Vosper, the initiative is about local farms supplying local people. “We want to provide good quality organic milk at a reasonable price to our community.”
A herd of 250 pedigree Jersey cows from Cleavedale Farms supply the vending machines daily, so customers know they are getting ‘real milk’ the way nature intended.
The machines are innovative, daring and unique, cutting out the middle-man between the farmer and the customer.
Since production began in June 2014, Jersey Girls Organics wanted to assure their customers that the milk they consume is made without GM, animal residues, synthetic chemicals and toxins that lace conventionally produced milk.
The vending machines fill a significant gap in the consumer market and are proving very popular. The positive feedback continues to roll in, customers come back time-and-time again and the cows can’t always keep up with demand.
Mary Vosper believes that customers are recognising a significant difference in taste and quality from conventionally produced milk. “There’s a huge rush in the mornings to get the milk to pour over the kids Weetabix.”
Customers fill their own milk bottles with as much or as little as they want. Reusable glass bottles are also available for purchase, designed to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in landfill.
The machines are imported from Italy, each storing 250 litres of milk which is connected to an electronic payment and dispensing system. One litre of milk costs $ 2.50.
The world’s embrace of milk vending machines isn’t new. In Europe, vending machines have been prominent for the last couple of years as part of a growing initiative to expand access to raw milk.
New Zealand legislation and health and safety standards restrict sales of raw milk through the farm gate. However, pasteurised milk is allowed, providing farmers like the Vosper family with a unique marketing opportunity.
The Jersey Girls' vending machines have processes in place to keep the milk healthy and fresh. Each machine is like a “big fridge with a mini milk tank inside. The milk is agitated to keep cream evenly distributed through the milk. It’s kept at a temperature between 2 and 4 degrees Celsius.”
Pasteurisation is a process that kills bacteria by heating the milk to a certain temperature for a set period of time.
There are currently three Jersey Girls’ vending machines operating in New Zealand – two in Tauranga and one in Matamata – a number that is expected to expand significantly in the near future.