Extensive verification of milk strategy yielding evident results
By Mikhail Fedoseev
Some time ago, Russia’s Milk Union addressed the Director of Savushkin Product JSC, Alexander Savchits, with a request to organise an excursion for the directors of Russia’s 40 largest milk firms. He agreed easily, taking on the obligations of guide. “We have no secrets from our Russian colleagues, as we are not afraid of competition,” he stressed to journalists. “On the contrary, we advocate stronger relations, to promote the milk industries of our country and Russia further.”
Mr. Savchits took his guests to the workshops of the head concern in Brest, enabling them to observe a full cycle of industrial milk processing — from milk delivery to the packaging of dairy goods. The Russians were pleased with what they saw and were especially interested in the laboratories, where milk and dairy goods are tested for quality. Local robots are able to conduct about 200 tests hourly, without error, and sometimes downgrade milk categorised by farmers as high grade, if they detect certain defects. “Subjective assessments are inconsistent,” stresses Mr. Savchits, discussing the advantages of the laboratory. Naturally, similar strict and unbiased controls are imposed on processed dairy goods. 45 in-house standards operate at the company, each excluding human influence on the quality of dairy products. The guests saw this with their own eyes. On entering the production facility, a special gate machine disinfected their palms; even after washing your hands, you are only allowed in after being disinfected.
Naturally, creating tasty and healthy milk starts not at the factory but at dairy farms. Here, the first quality tests are conducted. With this in mind, Savushkin Product — which processes almost half of all milk produced in the Brest Region — is introducing European agrarian methods: allowing cattle to wander freely and computer milking technologies. Moreover, the company is financing the modernisation of farms.
The company is eager to continue enhancing the prestige of its trademark, across all parameters. At present, it’s the only Belarusian company in the milk industry to research how its products influence health, being convinced that any declaration must be confirmed by scientific studies. Since 2007, the company has closely liaised with the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus’ Physiology Institute, which has recommended Savushkin Product’s foods as part of a balanced diet, able to help prevent cardio-vascular and neurologic diseases. Staff also assert that dairy products are good for the elderly and those engaged into hard physical and mental labour.
After touring the company’s workshops, Mr. Savchits eagerly tells us about the advantages of Brest milk and opens the floor to questions. One guest asks how the company, which now rivals others in highly developed Western Europe and the USA, came to be established in the Brest Region. Mr. Savchits tells us that, from 2005-2010, about $90m was invested into its modernisation. Previously, 90 percent of the company’s equipment was obsolete; now, it’s an ‘automated’ plant, daily processing milk from 105 farms across the Brest Region. New equipment installed allows production of a modern range of goods. Some time ago, Savushkin Product’s market researchers visited Western European states to learn from their experience, since much of the new range has never before been produced in Belarus or Russia. Many years of work by the plant’s dedicated personnel are yielding results.