Brookside Dairy is planning a nationwide training to help reduce milk contamination and rejection by processors. As such, Kenyan dairy farmers have been asked to meet has asked farmers to meet milk quality standards. The firm’s director of procurement, John Gethi, said this is with a view to increase deliveries of clean raw milk at their processing plant.
According to Mr. Gethi, the firm is making substantial investments in clean milk production in partnership with Kenyan farmers. Consequently, all raw milk received at their cooling stations must be delivered in food-grade containers after being subjected to a number of quality conformity tests.
Among the topics line up in the campaign are handling milk during milking, cleaning of cans as well as packaging for transportation.
Speaking to farmers, Mr. Gethi insisted that the firm will continue to reject any raw milk that does not meet the set quality minimum on density, antibiotics presence and microbial loads. Brookside Dairy, as an ISO-certified processor, procures 1.5 million liters of raw milk from 160,000 contracted farmers recently increased its producer prices by Sh11 to Sh37 for every litre.
According to the Kenya Dairy Board (KDB), milk should be transported in aluminium of stainless steel containers. Furthermore, farmers must wash hands, milk containers, and cow teats with clean water before milking and after.
Mr. Gethi also issued a warning to farmers against the malpractice of adding water to milk. This, according to him, is because it creates a fertile ground for bacteria. This, in turn, endangers the customers.
On the other hand, farmers who normally use antibiotics to treat their cows have been advised to observe the withdrawal periods given by drug manufacturers. This, Mr. Gethi says, is to be done before supplying such milk to the firm.