I’m a big fan of Jersey Girls milk. It’s locally produced, by a small herd of A2 jersey cows, on a family farm near Matamata. It’s fully certified organic.
And, it’s superb milk.
Here’s a post I wrote a while back about the Jersey Girls story. Jersey Girls – legends in the milking.
However, a few weeks ago I started hearing people saying things like “Oh, Jersey Girls have sold out to Lewis Road.” When the third person had said that to me, I decided that it was time for the Waikato Foodbasket to investigate.
I found that the 2L and 1L bottles of Jersey Girls milk were no longer being stocked at the supermarket.
However, they were still on the shelves at my local Bin Inn, at Village Organics in Frankton, at Whole Heart in Queenwood, and at the farmers’ market.
The Lewis Road connection
I looked closely at the Lewis Road bottles in the supermarket and realized that indeed, one of their premium milk products now has the Jersey Girls logo on it.
So I asked John Vosper of Jersey Girls to update me about this.
John told me that Jersey Girls have gone into a partnership with Lewis Road for the Gold Top premium milk line.
Jersey Girls bottle the milk on the farm and send it to the Lewis Road distribution centres. And Jersey Girls are also still bottling milk in their own labeled bottles and selling it through organic shops, Bin Inns and other specialty stores, as well as the farmers’ markets.
It was a decision made after two years of trying to break into the supermarket milk market, John said. This was really difficult for a small operation like Jersey Girls.
“We struggled to build sales, maintain shelf space, etc without dedicated merchandising staff. As a small producer we also were facing large increases in distribution costs.”
“Lewis Road Creamery has a national distribution network with over 200 sales outlets.”
“For us it made sense as they have expertise in marketing and it hopefully will enable us to grow our business,” he said.
A win-win deal
That answers my question. Jersey Girls have a superb, premium product that’s in high demand. But as a small local business they haven’t so far been able to sell enough of it under their own brand name.
People throughout New Zealand can now buy Jersey Girls milk, direct from the farm, under the Lewis Road Gold Top label.
And local consumers can still buy branded Jersey Girls milk at small retailers and at the farmers’ markets.
It’s a win-win, I hope!
Jersey Girls Organics
74 Hinuera Rd, Matamata