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Fonterra to start NI colostrum collection early

Media Release
28 June 2004

Fonterra to start North Island colostrum collection early

Fonterra is to start this season's colostrum collection from North Island suppliers a week earlier than expected on July 14.

Rodd Hodgson, Shareholder Relations Manager, says farmers have indicated that there's a lot of colostrum produced before the current start date of July 21, and collection from registered farms in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Manawatu and Hawkes Bay, has been brought forward as a result.

Collection dates for South Island suppliers in Canterbury, Otago and Southland, remain the same with a start date of August 4. Depending on volumes, colostrum collection will end in the North Island on September 10 and in the South Island to September 14.

The minimum collection is 200 litres per supplier collected on alternate days. The company will supply colostrum storage vats if required and there will be no collections before 8.30am.

Colostrum is collected from the first four milkings after calving and is high in immunoglobulins, which protect against infection, boosting calves' natural immunity. As a specialty milk product, it is used in a range of niche health products for human consumption.

Mr Hodgson says it is not too late for farmers in the designated collection areas to register for the programme and, as well as providing early season cash flow, there are a number of other benefits in taking part.

Building on last year's success, Fonterra has committed to a minimum three-year, colostrum collection programme, which includes the South Island this season.

It will pay $168/kg for colostrum with 0.75 percent immunoglobulin , a five percent increase on last year, with a premium for higher strength colostrum. This season all colostrum supplied to Fonterra will receive payment

Mr Hodgson says payment for colostrum is independent of the wholemilk split,

"This means that payment splits to the normal share milking arrangement can be altered. For instance, a 50:50 sharemilker can be paid at a higher percentage of the colostrum payment with permission of the owner."

In addition, there are no share or peak note requirements involved in the supply of colostrum, he said.

-ENDS-


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