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Adding a premium to the value of the milk produced by Andrew and Jenny Jones’ Rossett herd has been achieved by breeding decisions to produce A2 milk


any Holstein breeders are in the throes of changing their breeding goals in a bid to increase milk quality, but for Andrew and Jenny Jones’ Rossett herd, its not just about upping butterfat and protein levels. For this progressive couple the desire to earn a premium for their milk has seen them target the niche A2 milk market. “We took this road four years ago after we DNA tested the herd and found that 52% of the cows were A2:A2 cows. At the time I was looking for a premium for our milk supply, I had already dismissed organic because of the increase in input costs. “But Müller were contacting producers looking for herds to be tested for A2:A2, initially I dismissed it, but then I was aware that a lot of the Comestar bulls I had been using in the herd were A2:A2, so I started to investigate the opportunities,” explains Andrew. Producing A2 milk has the same costs as producing A1:A1 or A1:A2 milk, but the A2 protein in kappa casein is easier to digest in the human gut. A2 milk is broken down in to five amino acids in the human gut compared to seven amino acids from A1 milk, the side effects are linked to amino acids six and seven. “A2 milk isn’t actually anything new, it was historically the only milk protein produced by primitive cattle, but now about 70% of cows produce A1 milk,” says Andrew. The A1 and A2 proteins were identified in 2000 by Corran McLachlan and A2 milk now makes up 8% of milk sales in Australia and as well as the UK the product has also been launched in America and China. Testimonials on the A2 website include people who have previously suffered skin reactions, breathing difficulties and digestion problems from drinking milk. They now enjoy A2 milk without any of the side effects, what is even more encouraging is people turning to A2 milk from alternative milks. When the Rossett herd began supplying an A2 contract there was a premium of 2.5p a litre, but now sales are based on the A2 market and the premium is 1p a litre, however, that slip doesn’t worry Andrew. “I am confident that there is massive potential for A2 milk in the UK with about 25% of the population having intolerances of different kinds to milk. A2 milk is an Australian based company and Müller have the contract in the UK to process milk for them, they are also


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