How Now, where ethics overrule economics
ON MAY 24, local innovative dairy, How Now launched a crowd funding campaign with a difference. Based on the new equity model of crowd funding, instead of making a donation, investors are invited to purchase shares in the local dairy farm and become a shareholder in a growing community asset.
“Our goal is to raise an initial $500,000,” said founder, Cathy Palmer. “This will enable us to do our own processing on-site; we’ll invest in the infrastructure and materials to produce milk, cheese, yoghurt and cream. We’ll then open up our farm to the public, providing educational tours and interactive experiences. We’ll also increase our herd and maintain our access to water and feed.”
Raised in a home where vegetarianism was promoted and animal rights were a common kitchen table topic, compassion and empathy quickly became deeply ingrained values for former city-based music executive come local dairy farmer, Cathy.
Since meeting her partner of 10 years, Les Sandles, a farming industry consultant with decades of dairy farming experience flowing through his veins, Cathy learnt about traditional farming practices and what the term ‘bobby calves’ actually meant. This is the moment Cathy’s life began to change.
“When I discovered that to produce the milk we as a society desire, dairy cows are kept almost continually pregnant, with calves taken away from their mothers within 24 hours, I knew that something had to change.
“This process leaves both mother and baby deeply distressed and bellowing for each other for days and the truth is, most male calves (bobby calves) are discarded, sent to slaughter shortly after birth – as they serve no other purpose,” Cathy said.
“We don’t need to farm this way, there is an alternative. So together we decided to commit to creating industry change; we could either be a part of the problem or a part of the solution,” she said.
And so the concept of How Now dairy was born.
The business model begins with heard management. By purchasing pre determined sexed semen, How Now are able to control their herd with 100 percent success rate to date, enabling them to eliminate male calves from the equation. Female calves are then retained and from the moment of birth join the herd and remain with and feeding off their mothers – equating to a happier herd and quality produce.
“The concept is one that we think the whole country can get behind. We already have product distribution in Melbourne and Sydney and the goal is to gain national traction both with this alternative model of farming and with distribution,” Cathy said.
“We’re inviting the community to invest in us and what could be not only an amazing community asset, but also a transformation of an industry.
“We’re also really passionate about returning Aussie farmers to their farms and truly believe this ethical, sustainable model can be rolled out across the country,” said Cathy.
Currently sitting at $129,000 the How Now crowd funding campaign has until June 24 to reach its goal.
If you are interested in investing you can find out more by visiting: www.pledgeme.com.au/investments/13-ethical-dairy-pty-ltd-t-a-how-now