Tetra Pak & DeLaval to raise the number of dairy cows in China from 45% to 60% by 2020

By Jenny Eagle contact

- Last updated on GMT

Tetra Pak & DeLaval to train dairy cow farmers in China

Related tags: Liquid milk, Tetra pak, Dairy, Milk, China

Tetra Pak and its sister company DeLaval, part of Tetra Laval Group, have signed a five-year agreement with the Dairy Association of China to train 150 Chinese dairy farm managers over the next five years to run large-scale dairy farms. 

The initiative is part of plans by the government to raise the number of dairy cows reared on such farms from 45% to 60%, by 2020 to improve farming efficiency, increase product quality and enhance standards of animal welfare.

Breeding, nutrition, disease prevention

Angela Mou, vice president, communications, Tetra Pak Greater China Cluster, told DairyReporter, the training programme includes dairy farm management, breeding, nutrition and disease prevention. 

Press Photo 3

It will be delivered through lectures at the University of Agriculture, (UAC), Beijing, a two-month internship at a model farm in China, and an opportunity to visit and study at De Laval’s Hamra farm and other dairy farms in Sweden.

This training program is open to dairy farm managers and technicians from all over China, as long as they meet the selection criteria​,” she said.

UAC will select the 150 candidates using three criteria; trainees should be general managers or technical managers of dairy farms (with more than 300 milk cows). They should have more than three years of relevant working experience and they should have an educational background in animal husbandry or veterinary medicine​.”

According to Mou, the dairy farming industry in China has traditionally been limited to household farms, with only one or two cows. As demand for liquid milk is now growing on a mass scale, the Chinese government has committed to making the dairy industry more productive by creating larger, more efficient farms.

However, the pace of growth in medium to large size farms has exceeded the available number of appropriately skilled farmers. Therefore, investment in qualified talent is required​,” she added.

Liquid milk is not traditionally consumed in China and South East Asia, but is seen as a healthy addition to the local diet. However, rising incomes, population growth, urbanisation and changes in taste and diet are leading to increasing demand for liquid milk and milk products​.” 

China liquid milk consumption

Professor Li Shengli, professor, UAC and chief scientist of Dairy Farming by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture said China’s liquid milk consumption is still low, at less than 20 litres per capita.

This is approximately half the average consumption in Asia, and one fifth the average in Europe​,” he said. 

However, rising disposable income, combined with people’s desire to improve their quality of life, means the size and growth potential of the domestic market is huge; China must develop its own dairy farming industry.​”

Tetra Pak initiated a training program with UAC in 2013, to train managers and technicians for modern farms. After a two year pilot, the training program proved effective and was recognized by the dairy industry as well as the government.

Tetra Pak and DeLaval’s first collaboration was to upgrade farms that provided raw milk to China’s School Feeding Programme; by 2014, all 194 farms involved in the project had reached EU quality standards. The companies’ joint efforts also include developing virtual training to farmers through TV programmes and the free distribution of educational DVDs and booklets.

Chinese and Swedish Ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2012 to strengthen bilateral agriculture co-operation, especially in the dairy sector. As part of the 2012 MoU, each year the two ministries send working groups to meet and discuss areas of co-operation​,” added Mou.  

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1 comment

Grass Vs Feedlots

Posted by Pete Granger (Australia),

Whilst this program may solve one (very big) problem,there is no substitute for milk produced from grass/grazing in traditional dairying country - which happens to be in short supply in China. Feedlots maximise the genetic potential of cows - increasing production perhaps 50% more than already 'highly-leveraged' dairy cows. This is facilitated by the use of vaccines and other veterinary medications, including controversial antimicrobial drugs. It also involves manipulating the cow’s energy balance. That is, substituting higher calorific concentrated feed for grass, and diminishing expended energy by eliminating grazing and movement. From modest beginnings feedlots have evolved into an expansive, intensive, semi-industrialised method of farming that radically departs from traditional milk production methods. However, grass-free, maxed-out milk production also has the potential to compromise animal health, as well as significantly diminishing the nutritional quality of milk. This is inconsistent with milk’s intended use in China as a premium nutritional supplement.

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