Food safety is a world wide issue. Many hazards are threatening human health. Considering dairy, you can think of contamination of milk with substances like antibiotics, aflatoxins and pesticides. Also, microbiological contamination of milk with bacteria are a potential health threat. Milk quality can be affected by cattle treated with medicine or eating contaminated feed. Adulteration of non-potable water contaminated with high amounts of bacteria are in many countries an issue of concern.
A powerful and effective tool to reduce the risk of these hazards is the introduction of Quality Based Milk Payment Systems (QBMPS). In many emerging economies dairy farmers are just paid for their milk volumes, with the consequence that dairy farmers do not get incentives to work on milk quality. By introducing simple milk testing methods and parameters to grade the quality of milk, farmers can get incentives to improve milk quality.
Experts of our consultancy division The Friesian have successfully introduced and implemented such payment systems in several countries in Asia and Eastern Europe. Currently there are projects in East Africa where The Friesian experts are active in introducing and implementing such payment systems.
Successes were the reduction of bacterial and somatic cell counts in milk to such a level that 2 liters less were needed to produce one kilogram of cheese. Also the reduction of offered antibiotic milk levels to below 1% with 95% traceability to the farmers was a big achievement. Another success was the increase of total solids with over 1% and the decrease of bacterial counts to less than one million colony forming units per milliliter in milk collection systems with small scale farmers.
These programs can lead to an extension of the system in which the milk processor introduces a quality risk management system on farm level based on HACCP and in line with ISO 22000. For a successful implementation, smart milk test systems are developed and training and extension services are implemented.
Farmers form the foundation of food safety. Bles Dairies cooperates with the farmers to assure and improve food safety. For good quality milk with high nutritional content to feed the world’s growing population!