[10 October/ Rural News Group]

Miraka dairy company said milk from coming from Miraka suppliers has improved due to an incentive scheme. The incentive scheme, Te Ara Miraka, ensures Taupo-based Miraka suppliers produce better quality milk and adopt best-practice systems. Miraka’s Milk Supply Manager, Grant Jackson, said only four suppliers are not in the scheme; however, this is expected to change when they sign new supply contracts at the end of 2017. Mr Jackson said the scheme had provided excellent results and rewards suppliers for meeting five criteria – people, environment, animal welfare, milk quality and prosperity. Within this is 31 further criteria, where 13 are mandatory. The requirements are extrapolated into a points system. If a supplier reaches the full 100 points, they earn an extra 20 cents/kgMS at the end of the season. The scheme is in its second year of operation, and year one of the scheme yielded a 13 cents/kgMS incentive pay-out.