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Horopito stars in Matariki milk

Lewis Road Creamery has partnered with Pouarua Farms to produce a winter spice milk infused with horopito for Matariki, in a product development that is purely for celebration not for profit.

Pouarua Farms are jointly owned by Ngāti Maru, Ngāti Paoa, Ngāti Tamaterā, Ngāti Tara Tokanui and Te Patukirikiri. They have been suppliers of PKE-free milk to Lewis Road Creamery for several years.

“This is an historic year for Aotearoa with the first official recognition of the ancient event of Matariki. The sharing of kai has always been at the heart of our people’s celebrations so we are proud to share our kai with Aotearoa,” says Paul Majurey, Chair of Pouarua Farms.

The limited release milk is based on the time-honoured cold weather combo of milk and spice – combining native horopito for spiciness and heat, with ginger root, sweet notes of caramel, spices and earthy black pepper.

The horopito used in the milk has been wild-harvested from the Horopito region near Ruapehu.

“I’m allergic to chillies and other nightshades, so I was delighted to discover this indigenous leaf which has a delicious spicy pepperiness, as well as being traditionally used in rongoā for its calming and soothing properties,” says Prem Maan, Lewis Road’s executive chairman.

“This is a collaboration for celebration not for profit. We won’t make money on such a short product period, instead we’ve taken real pleasure in creating something special to share the fruits of our labour, and to celebrate a fantastic national holiday.”

He says Southern Pastures, owners of Lewis Road, have long celebrated Matariki on their farms as a time to pause and reflect on their place as food producers living and working on the land.

“Matariki reminds us of our responsibility to Papatūānuku, and the fragile envelope of space our Earth sits in.  Bringing thanks to our animals, our planet, and to people from our past and present, is embedded in our company’s ethos.”

Winter Spice milk has a limited release of 40,000 bottles in June and available in supermarkets unless sold out prior. It has a recommended RRP of $4.50 and is packaged in Lewis Road’s award winning rPET 300ml bottles that are also 100% recyclable, including the lid.

Lewis Road Matariki Milk with spices