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Small Business Driver: Bella Vacca Jerseys

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Bella Vacca Jerseys are an award-winning small dairy farm operating out of Kawakawa, Northland, who decided to take a brave step towards financial autonomy four years ago – pasteurising and bottling fresh, full cream milk right from their farm.

Frustrated with being paid only what Fonterra dictates each year, Gavin Hogarth and his family are now in full control of their income, allowing them to produce a product that they are extremely proud of while simultaneously hitting sustainability goals that were previously out of reach.

Bella Vacca Jerseys’ milk products are sold in glass bottles, and distributed between Houhora (far North) and Auckland City. The business uses returnable glass bottles as a way to reduce plastic waste, which their customers love. Having a more consistent income stream has enabled Bella Vacca Jerseys to reduce cow numbers on their farm, and concentrate on converting parts of their marginal land back into wetlands.

In the first week of lockdown, Bella Vacca Jerseys lost 65% of their outlets – mainly hospitality businesses – as they were forced to close. After fighting hard to find new outlets and get their old ones back, Bella Vacca Jerseys are now back at around 65% of their pre-Covid sales. They have a renewed emphasis on finding new business going forward, and are determined to keep all staff employed. 

Since receiving a Toyota Highlander through the Small Business Driver initiative, Bella Vacca Jerseys have enjoyed their commutes into Auckland to be on the ground with retailers and café owners – working hard to convert them to their products.

Bella Vacca Jerseys take immense pride in producing milk of the highest quality, fresh from their farm. For the perfect flat white, visit their website to see a list of cafés and retailers you can find their products in: http://www.bellavacca.co.nz/