By Yevgenia Gubanova
Anyone who is lucky enough to find themselves in the workshops of Verkhnedvinsk’s Butter and Cheese-Making Plant in the Vitebsk Region will see perfect sterility, one-use clothes and the strict compliance of staff and equipment to all standards. Access to technological equipment is strictly restricted, even for employees. A computer controls the cheese-making process, monitoring temperature, weight and other indications of the cheese, as it sits in huge containers day and night.
All can be observed through glass, from a gallery; the workshop with huge shiny metal constructions, containers with glass hatches and winking electronic panels looks quite space age. At present, the company can process up to 180 tonnes of milk daily, producing 11-12 tonnes of cheese each day in winter. About half is exported, with local cheese proving extremely popular in the Russian Federation.
You might think that an enterprise which has made such significant achievements and gained acknowledgement, wouldn’t need to launch the latest innovations. However, the company is purposefully working towards new targets; its site is like a huge construction ground. Alongside its current facilities, a completely new line is to produce dried whey, using unique equipment, primarily manufactured in Italy and Slovakia. It is, as yet, unrivalled in Belarus. The major milk season is to come, so the factory must be ready, able to daily process up to 200 tonnes of milk, raising output by 20 percent. An electro-dialysis unit will produce high quality dried whey, suitable even for baby food. Investments into the new line will total around $10m.