Miraka which is owned by a group of Māori trusts uses renewable geothermal energy to power its factory at Mokai.
Company chief executive Karl Gradon said it sources milk from about 100 farms in the central North Island but demand for its products is growing.
“We simply can’t keep up, our products are in high demand at the moment. We’re moving faster into areas such as consumer goods with our partners using their brands and we’re privileged to work with some of the most known brands in China and other parts of the world.
“We’re also moving into the food service area which is recovering strongly in the post-Covid world, so those reasons as well as strong demand for our products because of our sustainability credentials means we need more farmers to come on board.”
Gradon expressed a hope that the company’s low carbon footprint and the fact it paid up to 20 cents per kilogram of milk solids more than Fonterra would help attract new farmers.
“We really want people that punch above their weight in the kaitiakitanga world. It’s important that our values align.
“Other than that they need to be in trucking range to our factory and really we want to make sure they are willing to adopt the best global standards in farming practices.”
With demand increasing, he did not see any reason the business would not be looking for more farmer suppliers in a couple of years.
“We’re a relatively small company today, processing about one percent of New Zealand’s milk but I know if we doubled our supply tomorrow our partners would be able to take our milk.”