Canterbury farmer reaches crowdfunding target for 'kinder, greener fairer dairy' system

Glen Herud says a more ethical and responsible way of dairying is needed.
Glen Herud says a more ethical and responsible way of dairying is needed. Photo credit: Supplied

A crowdfunding campaign by a Canterbury farmer to help build a 'kinder, greener and fairer' way of dairy farming has reached it's $300,000 target.

Despite being forced to close his Happy Cow Milk business last year, dairy farmer Glen Herud is now planning to 'disrupt the dairy industry' using new technology he is developing.

He says he has learnt from his first attempt which tried to adhere to leaving calves with their mothers and using reusable packaging. 

"Ultimately, it was two those things that contributed to the demise of my first attempt to do dairy better with Happy Cow Milk 1.0. 

We supplied milk in reusable glass bottles, but they were time-consuming and costly to wash and fill. 

And when I needed to increase the supply of milk we couldn’t find a single farmer willing to adopt our cow and calf policy," he said.

Herud has now developed a 'milk factory in a box' system he says will connect producers directly to consumers.

A crowdfunding campaign has raised more than $300,000 needed to build the prototype and test the model in real-world technology.

Donations were exchanged for shares in the new company, Happy Herd Milk Company Ltd trading as Happy Cow Milk.

"Provisional patents have been filed on this revolutionary piece of technology that we hope will transform the dairy industry in New Zealand and around the world." 

Using the system, milk goes in at the farm and is pasteurised and then cooled inside. 

The whole unit is transported to the cafe or community-based retail outlet, where it becomes a dispensing unit. 

"This closed system ensures food safety and reduces the high cost of compliance that other processing systems face. "

Each unit is connected to a smart network that monitors temperature and keeps track of the milk as it’s used. 

The Happy Cow system notifies farmers when a retailer needs a full unit delivered. 

Herud said the provisional patents have been filed and the regular, non-provisional patent will be filed by March 2020 with a view to international patents in the future.

"Happy Cow Milk connects local farmers to resellers and consumers who want milk produced in an ethical and responsible manner."

The company is aiming to capture 5 percent of the New Zealand fresh milk market, which equates to a total retail value of $53.4 million dollars per year.