Representations of motherhood are central to the process of constituting a market for milk powder in Sri Lanka. Mothers are the primary providers of food and nutrition for their families and communities and have a profound influence on food production and consumption. Consequently, a focus on mothers shapes the efforts of both the New Zealand Dairy Board, the main supplier of milk powder to Sri Lanka, and the Movement of Mothers to Combat Malnutrition, a nongovernmental organisation that promotes home gardening to combat high levels of malnutrition, and whose educational programmes discourage purchasing of milk powder in order to resist multinational food production. In drawing on specific representations of motherhood, each organisation articulates the needs of mothers in a specific form. In this paper we show how the market for milk powder in Sri Lanka emerges through and against these processes.