TODAY |

Raglan farming family bottles and delivers 5,000 litres of milk a week

A Raglan dairy farming family set up a wee milk bottling plant three years ago.

The Hill family bottle and deliver 5000 litres of milk a week. Source: rnz.co.nz

Then, the Hill family produced 30 litres of drinking milk a week and delivered it to local customers. Now they bottle and deliver 5000 litres - in one-litre bottles - from the west coast to the east coast.

Their website has a rolling tally of the number of plastic milk bottles they've saved from re-cycling or landfill - over 150,000 and counting.

Jess Hill says customers are loving the glass bottles and the fact they're supporting a local enterprise.

"That is a big part of the appeal," she says.

The business is full-on with all family members starting at 5am, stopping for breakfast at noon.

David Hill says the only days they don't bottle milk are Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

They plan to soon stop supplying Fonterra altogether which they feel is a bold move for "just dairy farmers" but it feels right.

They have a new purpose-built factory beside their cowshed and the bottling plant will move out of its current home in a shipping container. The expansion means they could also look at cheese making.

They only have 150 cows but there are nine people on their payroll, a far cry from days when David and Bronwyn were milking 270 cows together.

The five distinctive black and white milk trucks are a familiar sight on the Raglan streets and around Waikato, and even as far as Bay of Plenty.

rnz.co.nz