Diversification of Canterbury’s rural production sector will help keep the region’s economy resilient and growing in a sustainable way. Canterbury Development Corporation (CDC) has investigated the suitability of a wide range of land uses through the Potential for Diversification of Rural Production in Canterbury report, prepared by The AgriBusiness Group.
The question of whether sheep milk could become a viable export industry was addressed through a follow-up report. This initial assessment of possible markets for sheep milk products is directed towards Asian markets, with the USA (California) included both as a contrasting well-developed market and also as a long-term prospect in its own right. Only retail markets and traditional sheep milk products, such as cheeses, were considered.
These reports do not definitively validate opportunities, but provide analysis to give direction, foster discussion, and provide interested parties with a possible guide to a means of market assessment.
Prospective exporters would be well advised to widen their market selections to include not just more countries but also non-traditional products, such as nutraceuticals/pharmaceuticals, and to consider the other market segments of food service and ingredients. Exporters should also pay close attention to market access requirements, particularly the non-tariff barriers of quotas and food safety requirements.