Brookside Dairy has asked farmers to meet milk quality standards as it plans a nationwide training to help reduce contamination and rejection by processors.
The firm’s director of procurement, John Gethi, said the campaign aims at increasing deliveries of clean raw milk at their Ruiru-based processing plant.
“We are making substantial investments in clean milk production in partnership with our farmers. All raw milk received at our cooling stations must be delivered in food-grade containers after being subjected to a number of quality conformity tests,” said Mr Gethi.
Handling milk during milking, cleaning of cans as well as packaging for transportation are some of the topics line up in this campaign.
Speaking when he addressed farmers at a demonstration farm in Maragua, Mr Gethi said farmers must observe high hygiene standards.
“As an ISO-certified processor, we will continue to reject any raw milk that does not meet the set quality minimum on density, antibiotics presence and microbial loads,” Mr Gethi said. Brookside Dairy, which procures 1.5 million litres 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. Farmers must wash hands, milk containers, and cow teats with clean water before milking and after.
Adding water to milk creates a fertile ground for bacteria, thereby endangering consumers, Mr Gethi said.
“We are calling on our farmers to resist the temptation to add water onto milk. Those who used antibiotics to treat their cows should also observe the withdrawal periods given by drug manufacturers before supplying such milk to us,” he said.