Pioneer New Zealanders investments in Brazilian Dairy Farming pay off

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Dairy Farm – Fazenda Leite Verde

Investors from New Zealand are still entering with force in Brazilian, with some of the original investors farming in the southwest of the Bahia region, specifically the city of Jaborandi. Their focus was on dairy farming using high technology – especially the giant centre pivot irrigation units – and developing a new breed of cattle, a  Kiwi Cross, generically called Kiwi-like fruit. There were four pivots with 425 meters radius of rotation, and each covered 56 hectares. Quite impressive since each pivot can feed 600 Stock Units. Each Stock Unit ( AU) corresponds to a cow of 250 kgs. Each pivot services a cowshed with a capacity of milking 450 and 550 cows per hour.

The premium full UHT milk produced on the property – Leitíssimo – comes from a screened herd free of Brucellosis and Tuberculosis.

According to the New Zealander Craig Bell, a director of this group, the South West of Bahia was chosen due to it climate. Not so cold that it prevents the grass from growing in winter and not so hot that you can take the cows to suffer heat stress. At the same time, Craig considers 1450 mm of rainfall the ideal amount for producing grass.

The challenge, in his opinion, is to improve the quality of raw milk to achieve a level of quality similar to that of other dairy-exporting countries like Uruguay, Chile and New Zealand.

A common theme throughout South America is that dairy farming mirrors the main differences between there and New Zealand, which are scale and mechanization, and as a consequence, productivity and quality.

New Zealand produces the same amount of milk that Brazil produces with only 1% of the number of producers. All New Zealand producers are mechanized, and as a result, the milk quality is better. Milk contains 10000/mL CBT and 200.000/ml CCS, for example.

The labour productivity in New Zealand is 20 times greater than in Brazil, which enables a lower cost of production, even paying salaries 8-10 times higher. With mechanical milking now available ( robots ), this might change.

In the meantime, Fazenda Leite Verde is among the largest milk producers in Brazil, occupying the 17th position according to a recent survey producing over 16,000 litres/day.


Contact the Gateway to South America team to learn about the best investment opportunities in the region. The company is a benchmark for foreign investors wishing to invest in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay, providing expert advice on property acquisition and investment tours.

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