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Left: the Minister for Food Safety Jo Goodhew has a close encounter with cuteness; Centre: the Minister cuts the ribbon assisted by NIG Nutritionals Chairman, Graeme Clegg; Right: Matt Stanish, GM NIG Manufacture with a friend.

AUCKLAND, New Zealand– Infant formula made from goat milk is finding a strong market in Mainland China, South East Asia and the Middle East for New Zealand’s New Image Group with help from Oete Farms.

New Image Group, through its subsidiary NIG Nutritionals, has also developed goat milk-based nutritional products for seniors and people with special health needs. The products have been trialled in different markets, including selected target groups in China. New Image is marketing through its distributor and partner networks and this month will show the products at the world’s largest baby fair, CBM Expo, in Shanghai in July.

The partnership between New Image and Oete was celebrated with an opening by New Zealand Minister of Food Safety Jo Goodhew of new facilities at its farm near Auckland. It currently runs 2,400 does, but Oete’s owners Matt and Sarah Bolton plan to increase production to more than 300,000 kg/milk solids a year, making it one of NZ’s largest producers.

Oete supplies NIG Nutritionals, which blends the milk with vitamins and minerals at its nearby high technology, multi-million plant. The finished product is then spray dried and packed as nutritional products and infant formula at New Image’s other NZ Export and Food Safety Authority approved manufacturing plants, which also have CNCA certification to produce infant formula for China.

Guy Wills, general manager of New Image Group, says the growth in exports of goat milk-based nutritionals demonstrates New Zealand is successfully diversifying its agricultural export base and adding value to raw materials. NIG Nutritionals’ research and development team is leading the development of new goat milk-based natural health products.

Minister Goodhew congratulated New Image and Oete Farms, noting New Zealand was the first country to develop goat milk based nutritional products in 1988. Now goat milk infant formula accounts for seven per cent of New Zealand’s infant formula exports.

The NZ Government is committed to a goal of partnering with the country’s primary industry sectors to double the value of primary industry exports by 2025. To that extent the opening of Oete’s new facility is cause for celebration, Minister Goodhew says.

Right now the does at Oete are starting to deliver their kids (babies) – and Minister Goodhew found one of them irresistible (see pictures).