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Packaging-free Milk Flowing At Shared Workspace

An innovative milk processing system developed by Christchurch startup, Happy Cow Milk, is delivering packaging-free Saltworks co-working space.

Happy Cow Milk raised $400k in an equity crowdfund in 2019 to develop its revolutionary “milk factory in a box”. This system allows any farmer to be a fully compliant milk producer and any cafe, workplace or even school to be a retailer.

Founder Glen Herud says the dairy industry needs disruption. “The current system rewards large-scale farming over small, family farms. Happy Cow wants to replace the complicated milk supply chain system to allow farmers to connect and sell milk to their local communities - because we know that sustainable milk is local milk.”

Farmers who sign up to Happy Cow Milk will receive $1.40c per litre compared to just $.55c per litre from Fonterra. They will leave calves with their mothers and look for ways to farm more sustainably.

Lead engineer David Trought is a firm believer in decentralised networks. “We are not creating a brand new future here. We are utilizing modern technology to return to pre-industrial social networks - locals supporting locals, people helping people.” As Happy Cow Milk grows David's passion and experience in delivering user-centric solutions will be integral to its growth and development.

The Happy Cow “milk factory in a box” allows farmers to pasteurise milk at the push of a button. All the time-consuming compliance is automated. Tanks are monitored 24/7 for safety and all the data is sent to the cloud.

Farmers and consumers are connected by the Happy Cow App, which has also been developed with funding from the 2019 equity crowdfund. The app helps customers find places they can fill bottles of Happy Cow Milk. It also processes orders for home delivery and lets farmers know when their local retailers need milk tanks restocked. Consumers can use the app to ask farmers questions and farmers can share updates with their communities.

Advisor Martyn Rivett has been supporting Happy Cow’s business development since 2019. He describes the development of the Happy Cow system as a “tremendous achievement.”

“Even more that Glen’s delivered it all on $400k in such a challenging period.”

The Happy Cow System has provisional MPI approval and will be ready to deploy around the country when full approval is granted. Glen plans to run a system locally in Christchurch for the rest of the year and then to look to scale around the country before taking the Happy Cow solution global.

To fund the next phase of development and growth, Happy Cow Milk is going back to the place where it has always found its greatest support - with the crowd. A second equity crowdfund will launch on the PledgeMe platform on 24 June. Those who register on the Happy Cow website will get early access on 23 June. The last round sold out in just eight hours.

Founder Glen Herud says an investment in Happy Cow milk is an investment in doing things differently. “It’s really clear we need to change. No matter what you consume, it has an impact, so the solutions are less about what we farm and more about how we farm. I’ve never been satisfied with the status quo and I’ve spent the last eight years trying and failing and trying again to do things differently. We’re really proud of the scalable system we’ve built in the last 18 months and we’re so excited for this next phase. With scale, we will find our path to profitability, but more importantly, our path to impact.”

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