During a visit to Vinamilk's US$110m (€80m) Vietnam Milk Factory near Ho Chi Minh City last week, DairyReporter.com heard Tetra Pak, which supplied all processing and packaging machinery for the plant, explain the importance of food safety and the role plant integration can play.
“There is much more emphasis on food safety today than there has ever been," Laurence Mott, vice president for technologies and service products, Tetra Pak. "It’s in Europe, it’s in Asia, and it’s at the very forefront of consumers’ minds.
“Non-governmental organisations, pressure groups, lobby groups, are also putting big pressures on companies like us, like Vinamilk, to make sure that we supply the highest quality products.
“There’s lots of new legislation being developed all the time. What Tetra Pak does is try to keep ahead of this, so we can be future compliant now.”
The Vietnam Milk Factory, which opened in September 2013, currently has the capacity to process 400m litres of milk a year. A second development phase will see this figure increase to 800m litres, and enable Vinamilk to better meet increasing demand for milk in Vietnam.
It contains 240 different Tetra Pak machines, including eight Tetra Pak A1/iLines and 9 Tetra Pak A3/Speed iLines alongside other smaller components.
“What we are providing is an end-to-end integrated plant,” said Mott. “That means we can integrate or automate both the processing and packaging parts of the dairy, and we can allow them to speak to each other."
The integration of these machines, according to Tetra Pak, enables Vinamilk to control stages of production more effectively, drive operational efficiency, save money, and improve environmental performance.
It has also enabled Vinamilk to improve the traceability of its products.
“What we’re really proud of is the fact we provide system wide food protection," said Mott. "It’s not just food protection because of the package, it’s because of all the technology that goes into the plant to make sure the packaging material, the product itself, the way its distributed, all of these thing contribute to making the product safe.
“If you look at the factory here, I think it’s a showcase of what you can get and what you need in order to achieve food protection. This is the true value of integration, of supplying the packaging equipment, the processing equipment, the materials, and the after service.
“We believe, as our founders did, that the key to our future business, and the key to supplying the something like 2.4bn extra consumers by 2050, at the very heart of it has to be food protection. This must be the key to future business success," Mott added.