Milk is a key component of any balanced diet and yet many people are not well versed with its processing or value chain that impacts the quality of milk before it gets to their glasses.
According to the Dairy Development Authority (DDA) in Uganda, although milk production in Uganda has increased from 2.08 billion litres in 2015 to about 2.5 billion in litres in 2020, consumption is still low.
A DDA report suggests that the per capita consumption of milk in Uganda stands at 62 litres which falls below the 200 litres recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Speaking at a recently organized event at the DDA offices, the Minister of State for Animal Industry Bright Rwamirama blamed this low consumption on people’s tendency to take fruit juice or soda which is readily available instead of milk which according to him is more nutritious. Rwamirama called for the need to prioritize serving milk at events in order to boost milk consumption.
This call for increased milk consumption has come at a time when milk processing companies have made it easier for consumers to take dairy products by ensuring quality control and varying products such as milk, yoghurt, butter, flavoured milk, and cream among others from which consumers can choose.
Marketing Manager, Fresh Dairy – Vincent Omoth said, ‘A growing body of recent research suggests that enjoying three servings of dairy foods a day is part of a nutrient-rich and balanced diet, and while several dairy products are available on the market, it’s vital to pay attention to the processing value chain as the quality of these dairy products is determined by the effectiveness of the milk processing value chain.
The milk processing value chain refers to the step by step process that milk takes from the farm to the consumer’s cup.
Omoth noted that the value chain of Fresh Dairy’s products begins with the Farm. Fresh Dairy works with over 30,000 small and large farmers who are the principal stakeholders in our business that we empower on best practice in the dairy enterprise periodically.
“At Fresh Dairy, we believe that good quality milk products are made from good quality milk. We, therefore, source all the milk used in Fresh Dairy products from Ugandan farms only.’
Omoth explained that dairy farmers take their milk to Milk Collection Centres every morning where it undergoes mandatory tests. From Milk Collection Centres, milk is driven using milk tankers to the factory.
At the factory, milk is tested again before entering a closed processing system out of which dairy products are made such as yoghurt, milk, ghee, butter, cream. The pasteurized Fresh Dairy products are then distributed to the retail outlets such as shops, supermarkets, duukas and kiosks countrywide where consumers can easily buy them.