On a tropical sweaty late morning, hundreds of black and white cattle are being kept cool by wind blowing from giant fans.
Holstein-Friesian cows are a rare sight in Cambodia, but now many can be found mooing at Moo Moo Farms in Arey Ksat commune just a 15-minute ferry ride across the river from Arey Ksat ferry port near NagaWorld casino in Phnom Penh.
Fresh milk from 300 cows passes through a cooling machine to lower the temperature to four degrees Celsius. It then goes through pasteurising and sterilisation machines in several stages before being bottled under the Moo Moo brand.
Located in Lvea Em district’s Arey Ksat village in Kandal province, the farm is sometimes opened for educational tours where private schools bring groups of elementary students to learn about the process of producing milk.
According to the farm’s owner Kenny Matthews, Moo Moo’s milk delivers a high standard in term of taste, quality and hygiene, following American standards.
The 29-year-old American, who speaks fluent Khmer, described the benefits of fresh milk.
It has a high calcium content, which strengthens bones and teeth and makes skin smoother. Fresh milk contains various other minerals and vitamins such as potassium, vitamin B12 and vitamin D, which are lacking in many diets. It also contains protein, healthy fats and antioxidants which help slow down the ageing process.
Matthews said of his decision to produce fresh milk in Cambodia: “I want to help Cambodian people have access to fresh milk, a local product, and enjoy the same quality as my homeland.”
“I’m interested in this country, Cambodia, so I thought about what I could do to help Khmer people in the long term,” he said.
Speaking Khmer effortlessly, Matthews continued: “I am interested in fresh milk. I think that Cambodia already has a lot of fresh milk, but they are non-domestic products. There is no local product that has the same quality as in the US.
Moo Moo Farms has expanded from 15 to 300 cows, all of them imported from New Zealand. Matthews revealed that in early February next year, his farm would add another 1,000 cows to its herd.
Unique fresh milk
Matthews described the popularity of Moo Moo Farms fresh milk saying it is available in 70 outlets in Phnom Penh and can be ordered by phone and via its Facebook page.
Home delivery is available when purchasing two bottles or more.
One two-litre bottle costs $4 and can be stored in the fridge for seven days.
“Our fresh milk is unique. It is different from other fresh milk sold here. If you leave fresh milk in the refrigerator at a temperature of four degrees Celsius then it can be kept up to 12 days but if the temperature exceeds seven degrees Celsius, it can only be kept for seven days,” said Matthews.
Matthews asks Cambodians to “please help support local products. Moo Moo Farms fresh milk is available only in Phnom Penh. But early next year it will be sold in Siem Reap and eventually in all provinces in the Kingdom”.