Steve and Pip Olds of Eketahuna Country Meats. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

BECKIE WILSON
beckie.wilson@age.co.nz

The sound of milk bottles rattling in the back of the milk truck could soon be heard again along the streets of Wairarapa towns.

Eketahuna Country Meats is branching out from its meat cuts with plans to bring the milkman back to home-deliver pasteurised milk in glass bottles.

Steve Olds, who runs the family business with his wife Pip, said the concept had always been in their business plan, but they had “fast tracked” it as now seemed like the right time.

“We saw it as an opportunity for people who were wanting more produce direct from the farmer,” he said.

But Olds said consumers were also wanting alternatives to buying plastic bottles.

“I think the reality is people have realised we can’t keep doing what we are doing.

“It’s made people think they want to change . . . Everyone was thinking about it.”

The milk will come from a friend’s dairy farm about 10km down the road.

The couple have already purchased a pasteuriser from Christchurch in the hopes of being fully-licensed by the start of October.

Milk will be sold in their Bentley St store in Masterton, with home deliveries to follow.

Olds said, “We aren’t going to do everywhere in one day” but would start the deliveries in Wairarapa and then expand to greater Wellington.

The glass bottles will be collected and reused like the good old days, but with the modern convenience of prepaying online.

Milk delivered to the door will cost $3.50 litre.

They will sell the glass bottles for $3.75 each, with 50 cents to be donated to Motor Neurone Disease Research.

On weekends, Olds sells their meat at the Riverbank Market in Lower Hutt and the Harbourside market in Wellington, where he said “I get a pretty good feel for what people are after”.

He had noticed their customers were wanting more homegrown produce.

Olds said the addition of milk to their company would be simple, with chillers already set up for the meat at the markets.