Baby formula has reportedly been in shortage for some years now, with Australian families competing with Chinese demand for Australian formula powder.
However a solution is on the rise: substitute cow's milk for goat's milk instead.
New Zealand entrepreneur Ben Dingle is planning to set up what will be Australia’s largest dairy goat farm to supply both Australian and Chinese markets with goat's milk to satisfy growing demand in both countries especially when it comes to baby formula.
However, when contacted, government organisation Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) shared the following:
"Goat's milk-based infant formula has been on the market in Australia and New Zealand for many years," says a spokesperson from FSANZ.
But if goat's milk is already on the market, how is it going to help stop a shortage?
Western Sydney University School of Nursing and Midwifery adjunct associate professor Karleen Gribble told The New Daily, the shortage in infant formula is only among the top brands, not all baby formula available to consumers.
“There never actually has been a shortage of infant formula in Australia, it has only ever been … premium brands that are in short supply," she says.
All infant formula in Australia and New Zealand must adhere to Standard 2.9.1 to ensure the ingredients in these products are of quality.
"The definition of infant formula product requires that the product must be based on “milk or other edible food constituents of animal or plant origin," Food Standards say.
"Sources of protein in infant formula currently available in Australia and New Zealand include cow’s milk protein, goat’s milk protein, protein hydrolysates of one or more proteins normally used in infant formula, and isolated soy protein [for lactose intolerant children]."
But will goat's milk be a satisfactory substitute for these premium brand baby formulas like Bellamy's and a2 Nutrition?
According to FSANZ, both sources of milk are safe for use. However, goat's milk provides significantly less nutritional value for every 100 grams of milk than cow's milk. Goat's milk is, however, less fatty than cow's milk.
Ultimately, they say goat's milk is a viable solution to the milk formula shortage, but only if adopted by top-tier brands.