A2 trend hits bull se­lec­tion

Tasmanian Country - - NEWS -

WHETHER the ben­e­fits are fact or fic­tion, the A2 wave sweep­ing through in­fant for­mula and fresh-milk mar­kets is lead­ing to grow­ing de­mand for sires that ex­clu­sively carry this ca­sein gene.

New Zealand and Aus­tralian dairy farm­ers are turn­ing to A2/A2 sires to en­sure they are at least par­tially pre­pared for any ma­jor shift in de­mand for the A1 pro­tein-free milk, which pro­po­nents claim is more eas­ily di­gestible.

New Zealand’s Live­stock Im­prove­ment Cor­po­ra­tion, which sup­plies 80 per cent of the na­tion’s dairy se­men, said de­mand was on the rise with the fre­quency of the A2/A2 geno­type reach­ing 53 per cent for cross­breeds, 66 per cent for Jer­seys and 44 per cent for Hol­stein-Friesians ear­lier this year.

In Aus­tralia, Se­mex pro­duc­tion man­ager Tyson Shea said there was a def­i­nite trend to­wards A2/A2 sires.

“If there’s two sim­i­lar bulls and one car­ries the A2/A2, they’ll [farm­ers] take it,” he said.

That de­mand is set to grow after Fon­terra struck a deal with the a2 Milk Company ear­lier this year to de­velop a pool of A2 dairy farms in New Zealand and Aus­tralia.

But the big ques­tion for dairy farm­ers is whether there is a long-term pre­mium to be had from the A2 milk wave.

Fon­terra is look­ing to de­velop a2 Milk Com­pa­ny­branded cheese and but­ter, plus ex­pand a2 milk pow­ders.

But at this stage A2 de­mand is lim­ited to high-mar­gin in­fant for­mula and fresh milk mar­kets, which ab­sorb a minute share of the trans-Tas­man milk pro­duc­tion.

Just how small that share is can be seen in the fact that in 2017-2018 the a2 Milk Company re­ported sales rev­enue from its a2 Plat­inum in­fant for­mula in Aus­tralia and China was $724.2 mil­lion, an in­crease of 84 per cent on the pre­vi­ous year. Yet over the same pe­riod the exclusive sup­plier and man­u­fac­turer of a2 Milk Company’s Plat­inum in­fant for­mula, Syn­lait, re­ported its milk pur­chases from farm­ers fell from 64.9 mil­lion ki­los of milk solids in 2016-17 to 60.7 mil­lion in 2017-2018.

Syn­lait would not re­veal how much of its pro­duc­tion went into a2 Milk’s Plat­inum for­mula, but said it col­lected about 21.4 mil­lion kgMS of A2 milk from sup­pli­ers in 2017-18.

The num­bers re­flect just how lit­tle milk goes into a2 Milk’s tins of for­mula, with pack­ag­ing show­ing it con­tains about 10 per cent milk pro­tein.

The a2 Milk Company’s patents on two key test­ing meth­ods have ex­pired, open­ing the way for ri­vals. Free­dom Foods and Nes­tle have en­tered the A2 mar­ket but are yet to pose a se­ri­ous chal­lenge.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.