The goat milk is supplied by a group of over 70 select goat farmers who have committed to comply with the strict quality requirements of our subsidiary Holland Goat Milk B.V. This company looks after the collection of all of our goat milk.
Did you know that the Dutch quality requirements for the goat milk sector are higher than prescribed by the European Union? The quality of our goat milk is safeguarded in various ways. For example, the goat milk, from the goat farm to the production companies, is under the constant control of the Netherlands Controlling Authority for Milk and Milk Products (COKZ) and all of our goat farmers are affiliated with Kwaligeit (QualiGoat), the national chain quality system especially created for the goat milk farming sector. Finally, all farmers comply with the additional requirements specified by us.
For more information about the origin of our goat milk, visit the website of our subsidiary Holland Goat Milk B.V. or view our Q&A
Questions & answers about the origin of goat milk products
What is the average number of goats on a dairy goat farm in the Netherlands
According to CBS (2019), the Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics, there are 614.000 goats in total in the Netherlands. However, this number also includes the goats on hobby farms. There are about 380 farms that keep dairy goats in a professional way, so about 1.000 milking goats per farm. About 70 dairy goat farms deliver their milk to Holland Goat Milk. Average size of these goat farms is 800 to 1.000 milking goats, so quite comparable with the overall Dutch average.
What breed of goats produces the goat milk for our products?
People who visited a goat farm in the Netherlands before, probably noticed that over 90 percent of the goats at a dairy goat farm are white. This is mostly the Dutch white goat, bred out of Saanen goats. This breed is known for its high quality goat milk.
How many litres of goat milk do these goats produce per day?
Dutch goats are milked two times a day and a goat produces on average 1.100 kg of milk per year, that is about 3 kg of milk per day. However, there is a large variation between goats, but also between farms.
Why do we pay more for goat milk products than we do for cow milk products?
There are a few reasons why goat milk is generally more expensive than cow milk. The most important reason is that producing 1 kg of goat milk is more expensive compared to producing 1 kg of cow milk. A goat produces on average 3 kg per day, while a cow produces on average 28 kg per day, so it takes about 10 times more effort to produce the same amount of milk. Of course a cow also needs to eat and drink more.
However, still, the costs to produce goat milk are higher. We want to give our farmers a fair price for their milk, that is why our company is among the best paying goat milk collectors in the Netherlands. This way our farmers can continue to offer the highest quality goat milk and we can continue to produce our high quality goat milk infant formula.
How does the milk collecting process go?
In order to maintain the highest quality goat milk, the goat milk is stored at the farm in a large refrigerated milk tank at 4°C before it is collected by a milk truck. The milk truck collects the goat milk every three days. A milk truck can load up to 34.000 litres of milk. Before collecting the goat milk into the truck, every batch of milk is checked on absence of antibiotics and its organoleptic properties (flavour, colour, smell).
Before further processing, our goat milk is being checked on several additional parameters, including content on protein, fat and bacteria. Some of these aspects are used for the payment of the milk. In this way farmers get motivated even more to deliver a good quality of goat milk. Other aspects are used to check milk quality.
After we collect the goat milk from our goat farmers, we transport it to our own factories in the Netherlands in the provinces of Overijssel and Friesland. Here we combine our infant formula expertise with the latest state of the art production technology. All our factories are frequently audited by internationally approved third parties.
Is our goat milk GMO-free?
Yes, the goat milk that is used for our brand Kabrita is GMO-free. GMO means genetically modified organism, which can be animals, plants or microorganisms. Companies need to have a VLOG (Verband Lebensmittel Ohne Gentechnik) certificate to be able to officially claim GMO-free products. To obtain a VLOG certification, all our goat farmers must ensure that all goats are fed non-genetically modified concentrates. All feed ingredients, everything that the goat eats, need to be GMO-free to be able to produce GMO-free goat milk.
Do our farmers use hormones or antibiotics?
The use of hormones and antibiotics is strictly regulated and controlled via the system Kwaligeit (‘Qualigoat’).
Our goat farmers are not allowed to use hormones unless this is required by medical condition or desirable by the breeding schedule of the goats on the farm. Only the veterinarian practice, which is linked to the farm, can supply medicines (Overheid, 2012).
Antibiotics can only be used in a curative way, not in a preventive way (NZO, 2017). Each farm has a farm-specific treatment protocol in which first choice antibiotics will be used if possible. Sometimes only the veterinarian is allowed to treat the goat with specific medicines. The milk of the goat is not being used during treatment with antibiotics, even until a couple of days after the treatment period. This is to ensure that there are no antibiotic residues in milk that is delivered to the milk processor.
The farmer will also make sure that there will not be antibiotics in the milk. Delivering the milk is their most important income and if antibiotics are found, the farmers will not get paid. Another reason is that often the family of the farmer drinks the milk that comes directly from the milk tank, before it is tested and processed by the milk processor.