If you have kept an eye on the news recently, you will know about the many problems facing the milk industry. They are well documented, of course, but there are other issues, too.
Milk in this country travels great distances to get to households, so growing milk for your local market can help stem the effects.
Think you can give it a go? Then read on and find out how to get started.
Of course, your plan for a little milk business will fall flat on its face if you don’t have any cows – or the space to keep them in. That is a lot of information to take in by itself, so head over to the Accidental Smallholder for an excellent guide to getting started.
The next step is to take a peek around at any local competition. You should also ask friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances if they would buy off you – but don’t take their word for it. It’s also worth poking your head around the door’s of local shops – is there a market for your milk through them?
You don’t need too much investment when it comes to producing milk unless you have a large-scale operation going. A quick check on Google reveals that anywhere between $10-15,000 should do the job.
First of all, you will need a building to milk your cows in, which should come with washable walls, floors, and ceilings. There should also be a changing room for health and safety reasons and a washing facility.
Regarding equipment, you will need a few different things. For example, a pasteurizer, and a separator to allow for full fat, semi-skimmed, and skimmed options. Unless you plan on producing raw milk, of course. Raw milk has some health benefits that you might want to check out. You should think about some bottling equipment, too – and things like a labeler to print your logo if you go down the tetra pack route.
You’ll need a form of cold storage, and, of course, pumps to milk the cows. You could do this by hand, of course, but unless you are planning on spending hours every day, it’s best to invest in technology!
Safety and regulations
You should look into getting food hygiene certification, and learn how to test your milk. For example, you might need to check for residues of antibiotics in milk, and ensure its composition. It sounds complicated, but it won’t take long for you to understand your responsibilities.
You will also need to get in touch with the Environmental Health department and arrange to speak to them. They will give you everything you need to allow you to sell milk, including your license. They will also give you plenty of advice, so they are well worth talking to before you start buying lots of equipment.
Conventional milk has many additives and is highly processed so selling and producing organic or raw milk can be very profitable with so many people looking for healthier and demanding real food. You will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your part to make this world healthier and building a safer future for our children.
Once you are done, it’s just a case of selling your milk – and hopefully for a profit. Good luck with the new venture!