Sheep milk producers Fernglen Farm in the Eastern Wairarapa, who have proudly been supplying the All Blacks since 2019, are looking forward to this weekend’s Wellington Food Show.
The Riversdale-based family owned business - 40km East of Masterton, is managed by youngest son Cameron Ravenwood, and is fast increasing its number of suppliers throughout the North Island.
Both its pasteurised milk and prebiotic flavoured milks are used by the All Blacks for recovery after games and on training camps, and is now available in at least 35 supermarkets and food stores from Wellington to Auckland.
The company has also teamed up with foodbox.co.nz to bring sheep milk to people’s doors, and is aiming to move into the South Island (Christchurch) between December 2020 and early 2021.
In May 2020 Fernglen Farm won the ‘People’s Choice’ award for the favourite food producing business in New Zealand at the Outstanding Food Producer Awards.
“It’s definitely still hard work but we have more room to grow,” Cameron said.
Jeff and Shirley Ravenwood converted their sheep and beef farm specifically for sheep milking five years ago, and now most of the family are involved in day-to-day operations.
Oldest son Ben studied Human Nutrition and Sports Science at Massey University and was now into his Masters, ensuring their products were of the highest nutritional quality.
Cameron has a Bachelor Degree in Agribusiness and Food Marketing and has also completed his Masters in a similar discipline at Lincoln University. He works throughout their integrated supply-chain.
Daughter Baeley has a Degree in Agriculture Science with Honours from Massey University and works for PGG Wrightsons - working closely with the family to ensure they are able to give their ewes top quality feed all year round.
Initially starting with 120 sheep, Fernglen Farm has since expanded to more than 400 milking sheep on their 1100ha farm.
Their flock is a mixture of East Friesian, Awassi, Coopwourth, Lacaune and crosses of the stated breeds.
From Fernglen Farm, the milk is taken to a factory in Masterton twice a week where they add the natural coffee, vanilla and chocolate flavours themselves.
Cameron said sheep milk is an easier to digest for those who have a dairy intolerance.
For some people who suffer from eczema it has been “life changing” drinking sheep milk, he said.
It also contained as a ratio only half the amount of lactose than cow’s milk, and overall it was grass-fed, free of GMO’s, antibiotics and added hormones.
Catch them at the Wellington Food Show this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (October 30, 31, November 1),
For more information contact Cameron Ravenwood on 027 439 3312.