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The issue ‘Raw milk quality’ from the point of view of a major dairy industry

Arla Foods a.m.b.a. Skanderborgvej 277, DK-8260, Viby J., Denmark
J. Anim. Feed Sci. 2007;16(Suppl. 1):240–254
Publication date: 2007-01-26
The mission of Arla Foods is to provide modern consumers with milk-based products that create inspiration, confidence and well-being. Consequently, Arla Foods continuously needs to obtain and implement all necessary knowledge of relevance for controlling the quality of our products. The ongoing dramatic changes in the international market place, caused by global changes in lifestyles and requirements of consumers, require high standards of quality assurance regarding diversity, quality and safety of products and the environmental, ethic and animal welfare aspects of the food production. Consequently, the need for inclusion of the whole food production chain to develop strategies for production of foods with high quality has never been more urgent. Even though raw milk quality has always been a cornerstone for Arla Foods, the above-mentioned requirements of the modern consumer request a constant expansion of our raw milk quality concept of a major dairy industry towards issues of importance for the consumers. Thus, raw milk quality cannot contain only quality characteristics that just meet statutory quality requirements and quality characteristics of importance for the settling price of the dairy farmers. Consequently, Arla Foods has recently implemented a quality assurance programme called Arlagården, which includes quality requirements compatible to those that also satisfy consumer demand for “soft” values, i.e. the consumers can be assured that Arla Foods is consistently concerned with the proper exploitation of resources, the environment, animal welfare, ethics etc. throughout the entire production process. Nevertheless, Arla Foods will continuously need to obtain new knowledge to expand the raw milk quality term as our fulfilment of the company mission is continuously challenged by new demands from our costumers including the modern consumer. This calls for strategic multidisciplinary research of importance for raw milk quality, which can further improve quality assurance programmes for raw milk production in the years to come. This includes research, which additionally can 1. develop sustainable management systems, 2. make nutrigenomics in relation to animal health functional in management decision systems, 3. combine raw milk composition and human health, 4. improve milking systems, handling and storage of raw milk, 5. improve hygienic design at the modern milk farm, 6. develop simulation models of importance for developing effective hazard analysis critical control points (HACCP) concepts, and finally, 7. develop robust and sensitive in and at-line methods including microbial rapid methods applicable at all stages of the milk chain. These areas of research are briefly described in relation to the urgent needs of a major dairy company of tomorrow.
H. J. Andersen   
Arla Foods a.m.b.a. Skanderborgvej 277, DK-8260, Viby J., Denmark
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