LIC welcomes Fonterra’s a2 announcement
The farmer-owned co-operative, which breeds up to 80% of the national dairy herd, says this increase in supply matches the demand it has experienced for its A2 genetics and testing services.
Last year, the co-operative introduced dedicated A2 bull teams and extended its test offering in anticipation of Fonterra’s next move with The a2 Milk Company.
LIC’s General Manager NZ Markets, Malcolm Ellis, who is also a Fonterra shareholder and farm owner, comments:
“The uptake has been overwhelmingly positive. LIC has been offering A2 bulls since 2002, but the demand for the new teams in their debut season is the biggest shift we have seen in AB trends.
“More than 440,000 straws of fresh semen from the A2 teams were inseminated into New Zealand dairy cows through the spring mating period last year. This accounted for around 10% of our total AB activity and reflects a significant shift in farmer behaviour which was largely in response to the initial announcement that Fonterra was partnering with The a2 Milk Company.
“Farmers are investing in A2 genetics and testing because of the opportunity to position their herd asset to benefit financially from the growth and momentum of A2.
“We also extended our test offering to meet this demand, to include the option to test for the A1 and A2 genes via a milk sample as well as DNA.
“Today’s announcement is very Waikato-based, but the effect of this will be felt much further afield and spark interest from farmers nationwide. There is more at play here than ambitions to produce A2 milk, with opportunities to also breed surplus A2 livestock to sell.
“2018 was the year we really saw farmers demonstrate their ambition to be involved in the A2 space. Today’s announcement will certainly be the catalyst for that momentum to continue.”